Chinese New Year
Gung Hay Fat Choy! The first day of the Chinese lunar calendar is a very important holiday to the Chinese people. It is celebrated worldwide, wherever there are large Chinese populations, with food, festivities, fireworks, and parades.
There are 12 cycles to the Chinese lunar calendar, each represented by an animal. This year, 2008, is the first year in the 12 year Chinese Zodiac cycle and is the year of the “Rat.” It is said that those born during the year will be leaders, pioneers and conquerors.
It is common to give red packets to children during this period of celebration. The red envelopes contain money, which should be of an even number (as odd numbers are associated with money given during funerals).
And for your enjoyment here is a short video of the Chinese New Years parade in New York City’s Chinatown. This will give you a brief flavor of the festivities and fun.