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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Metal Tiger: Year 2010

For days now I've been blabbering about Chinese New Year but I don't think I've actually talk about what it is and it's importance to Chinese families. I'll probably be writing something you already know but please bear with me. You might learn one or two points from today's post.

Chinese New Year for 2010 is on February 14, 2010. It is considered the year of the Metal Tiger. According to Chinese horoscope, the Year of the Tiger is a year of hard work and passion. It is believed that people born on the Year of the Tiger are natural leaders. They are charming and passionate. They tend to be impatient, but are easy to forgive.

Chinese New Year (also called “Spring Festival”) is a time of renewed beginnings and intentions. Chinese New Year is a 15-day celebration starting with the first day of the Lunar New Year. It is considered the most important of all Chinese holidays. The Chinese spend this time renewing the self and touching base with family and friends. There are quite a number of Chinese New Year customs usually done to help renew the self and relationships. Business and home matters are also fixed and refreshed in time for the New Year. It is also the time to wear new Chinese cheongsam (which is by the way, on sale at EliteDresses!) as the whole family welcomes new hope.

Celebrations are also well underway outside the home as it is inside. In the US, Australia and other countries with Chinese communities, Chinese New Year celebrations are noisy and happy. Lion Dances are held in business establishments. The lions pursue a decorated ball that represents a priceless pearl. Lucky money are given to the lions in exchange for driving away evil spirits. Blessings are also given for businesses to have a prosperous new year.

Chinese New Year ends when the first full moon rises. It is custom to hang lanterns everywhere to mark the end of the New Year celebration. The lanterns symbolize light and warmth. It is believe that these lanterns will help the spirits return to the other world safely.

photo courtesy of photobucket

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