Chinese New Year

1.A fierce dragon leaps and weaves from side to side. Strings of firecrackers explode in midair We hear the sounds of gongs and clashing cymbals. What an exciting and noisy parade!

2.GUNG HAY FAT CHOY means best wishes and congratulations. Have a prosperous and good yean It is the Chinese New Year. This joyous festival may last many days. It is a time for family reunions, for honoring ancestors, and thanking the gods for their blessings.

3.The Chinese add a year to their age on new year's Day, no matter when they were born. This is the grandest birthday party of alll

4.Chinese New Year does not come at the same time every year. The date may fall any time between mid-January and mid-February. Chinese festival are celebrated according to dates on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar It is called the lunar calendar because the length of the months are decided by the cycles of the moon. Each new Chinese year is given the name of an animal. It is named after one of the 12 animal symbols on the Chinese zodiac. These animal symbols date back thousands of years. It is said that a person born within an animal's year will have the qualities of that animal. Chinese learn their future and fortunes by the animal symbols of the Chinese zodiac.

5.Chinese families make great preparations for this special time of year. Before the new year families settle old debts and buy new clothes. The house is cleaned and food is prepared. Home are filled with flowers and fruit. Families display pyramids of oranges and apples. An apple is a symbol of good luck for the new year. Oranges and apples are picked for a special reason. The Chinese believe red and orange are colors of joy. You will see the colors of joy everywhere at the Chinese New Year Festival!

6.There are red and orange scrolls everywhere. The Chinese characters on the scrolls carry messages of Good Heath, Luck, Long Life, Prosperity, Happiness.

7.On the eve of the new year, Chinese families celebrate at a reunion dinner. Offerings are made to family ancestors. Sometimes doors and windows are sealed with red, good luck papers. Children stay awake as long as they can on New Year's Eve. It is said that the longer one stays up, the longer one's parents will live.

8.The new year is a time for gift giving. Before midnight the children receive a special present, called "lai see". It is good luck money wrapped in red paper. Then, all of a sudden, there is a deafening explosion of firecrackers. It is the new year. Firecrackers will scare away lazy and evil spirits!