Chinese New Year

Can you imagine a holiday that lasts 40 days? The traditional Chinese calendar is different from the calendar most of the world uses. The Chinese celebrate the New Year sometime between mid-January and mid-February and the date changes each year, but they celebrate for nearly six weeks!

Children love Chinese New Year because it is the time that they have a long break from school and get to travel to visit their relatives. There are three things you would like about Chinese New Year and one you might not.

First, children are given little red envelopes called Hong Bao. These envelopes have money stuffed inside of them.

Secondly, the holiday is a time for fireworks and firecrackers. Throughout the night, for many nights, families and villages set-off firecrackers–sometimes this lasts all night long!

Thirdly, it is a time to eat lots of special foods and candies. Some of their specialties are fried turnip or raw fish salad. There is a tradition that your family should not eat all the fish on New Year’s Eve and save some as a symbol that you will have plenty of food in the New Year.

Chinese New Year is also the one time of year when people clean their homes really well. The Chinese clean every inch of their homes or huts to give way to the old and prepare for the new.

As the fireworks and firecrackers sound for the last night of the year, children excitedly count their Hong Bao, eat lots of candy, stay up late at night and enjoy being with relatives. After the New Year begins, it is time to take buses, trains, planes, or boats and head back to their homes and begin school and work again.