Happy Chinese New Year!

新年好!  Kung Hei Fat Choi!  Happy Chinese New Year!  Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China and for Chinese people around the world. This year is the year of the Snake, one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac.

Traditionally, houses are cleaned and decorated in the days before Chinese New Year. Red envelopes containing money are passed out on Chinese New Year’s Eve. The following day, Chinese New Year is celebrated with firecrackers, lanterns, torches, and bonfires to chase away the kuei (evil spirits), who are believed to be dispersed by light and noise. Dragon dances and lion dances take place in streets and public places throughout the first few days of the Chinese New Year.

Why not join in the fun by making paper lanterns with your children?  It’s a fun way to teach them about other cultures.  Take a look at last years’ celebrations or see how much you already know about it by taking this quiz.

If you’re expecting a new arrival this year, they will be born in the year of the Snake. According to the Chinese zodiac, children born in the year of the snake can be very wise, and are good at thinking. They are very determined and don’t like getting things wrong. They are often rich! Snake boys are handsome and snake girls beautiful, and although they can often be vain, they enjoy helping others.

Want to know more about Chinese horoscopes or to work out what sign you are?  Here’s a helpful guide.

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