Chinese New Year is a family festival. Everyone tries to be with their families for a special meal on New Year’s Eve.
Just before midnight, the front door of the house is closed firmly and sealed with red paper to keep out any evil spirits.
When morning comes, the paper is broken to open the door.
Fire crackers are let off to welcome the New Year.
Chinese New Year takes place each year between January 21st and February 20th.
The exact date is fixed using the Chinese lunar calendar. This means each month begins with a new moon.
Chinese New Year also marks the beginning of spring and the start of the farming year.
The people pray for good crops and healthy animals.
People who live in towns and cities pray for a prosperous New Year.
It is a festival that is lots of fun for children.
They can see lion and dragon dances in the streets and hear musicians with gongs, drums and cymbals.
On New Year’s Day children have new clothes, good food, sweets and gifts of money in the little red envelopes. Red is a happy colour and so the clothes and decorations are usually red.
The greeting of ‘Kung hei fat choy’ is used for ‘Happy New Year’ and includes the five blessings of food, health, long life, luck and peace.
Chinese New Year is a time to remember your family and the kindness and care they give you.
It is a time for forgiving people who have upset you and to make a new start.
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