Saturday, January 14, 2006

Happy chinese new year

LOL another festive season where the chinese families come together for celebration. But wat you all know about CNY? The history behind it? Actually i knew quite alot =/ ok here goes:

Chinese New Year actually starts with the New Moon on the first day of New Year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays or even fire crackers(not in sg of coz) and children carrying lanterns in a parade.

The Chinese calendar is actually based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 (or 30 days) kinda forgot already =/. In order to "catch up" with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-yearcycle). It is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. Now you understand why according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors.(Nowadays, they carry out the ceremony)

The sacrifices to the ancestors, which is the most important part of the rituals, unites the living members with those who had passed away. Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations family.

The presence of the ancestors is acknowledged on New Year's Eve with a dinner arranged for them at the family banquet table. This is the time where family members comes together. The spirits of the ancestors, with the living, celebrate the "starting" of the New Year as one great community. The communal feast called "surrounding the stove". It symbolizes family unity and honors the past and present generations.

I wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year!

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