Tag Archives: Chinese New Year

Dragon Dance Importance

dragon dance

Chinese Dragon Dance is very famous and traditional dance happened in Chinese Culture. The dragon dance is often performed during Chinese New Year. Dragon is a symbol of China and it is believed that it brings good luck to people, therefore the longer the dragon in the dance the more luck it will bring to the society. Chinese Dragon Dance possess qualities that include great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom. The Dance is not easy and is being performed by great team of dancers who were having flexible figure of a dragon using poles positioned at regular intervals along the length of the dragon.

Chinese Dragon Dance

There are different forms of Dragon Dance mentioned in the Han Dynasty. Rain Dragons Dance associated with rain in ancient China. Other Dance may include Lantern Dragon Dance associated with Lantern Festival, Fire Dragon Dance, Double Dragon Dance, Dragons on Poles etc.

Construction of Chinese Dragon

The dragon is assembled by joining the series of hoops on each section and attaching the head and tail pieces at the ends. Dragons were constructed of wood, with bamboo hoops on the inside and covered with a fine cloths. Nowadays lighter materials such as aluminium and plastics have replaced the wood and heavy material.

The length of Dragon varies from around 25 to 35 meters for the most of the models, and up to 50 to 70 meters. The sizes and length of Chinese Dragon is not fixed it totally depends on the human power or materials available.
Dragon Dance

Colors of Dragon

Color of the dragon which is majorly selected is Green, which symbolizes a great harvest. Other colors are – yellow which symbolizing the solemn empire, golden colors symbolizing prosperity, red color representing excitement, silver colors and provides a feeling of joyous atmosphere.

Performance of Dragon

The performance of Dragon is not simple therefore it is performed by highly skilled workers. It is very essential to take care of correct combination and proper timing of the different parts of the dragon. Any mistakes made by a single performers would spoil the whole performance. The Head and Tail of Dragon is very important in dragon dance.

Patterns of Dragon

Patterns of the dragon are “Cloud Cave”, “Whirlpool”, T’ai chi pattern, “threading the money”, “looking for pearl”, and “dragon encircling the pillar”. The movement “dragon chasing the pearl” shows that the dragon is continually in the pursuit of wisdom.
Dragon Dance
What is the dragon dance for Chinese new year?

Dragon dance (simplified Chinese; traditional Chinese; pinyin) is a form of traditional dance and performance of Chinese culture. Like the lion dance it is being practiced during festive celebrations.

Chinese New Year 2016

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Chinese New Years Animals

Chinese Zodiac

Chinese New Years Animals or circle of Animals literally means 12 animals which resembles Chinese Zodaic. In Chinese New Year it predict future action that relates each year to an animal and its reputed attributes according to a 12-year mathematical cycle. It is popular in several East Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and Thailand. The 12 Chinese Zodiac animals are in a fixed order according to Chinese Yin and Yang Theory and perceived attributes. Each attribute symbolizes some sense of expression.

Chinese New Years Animals Signs

The Zodiac Signs begins with sign of Rat. The 12 zodiac signs of Chinese New Year Animals are as follow

  • Rat associated with fixed elements Water
  • Ox associated with fixed elements Earth
  • Tiger associated with fixed elements Wood
  • Rabbit associated with fixed elements Wood
  • Dragon associated with fixed elements Earth
  • Snake associated with fixed elements Fire
  • Horse associated with fixed elements Fire
  • Goat associated with fixed elements Earth
  • Monkey associated with fixed elements Metal
  • Rooster associated with fixed elements Metal
  • Dog associated with fixed elements Earth
  • Pig associateds with fixed elements Water

Chinese New Years Animals Origin

Many stories and fables exist to explain the beginning of the zodiac. But since the Han Dynasty the 12 Earthly Branches had been used for the sake of entertainment. A Chinese New Years Animals Origin branch may refer to a double-hour period.

  • Rat: 23:00 to 00:5. (2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960) This is the time when Rats are most active in seeking food.
  • Ox:  01:00 to 02:59. (2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961) This is the time when Oxen begin to chew the cud slowly and comfortably
  • Tiger: 03:00 to 04:59. (2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962) This is the time when Tigers hunt their prey more and show their ferocity
  • Rabbit: 05:00 to 06:59. (2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963) This is the time when the Jade Rabbit is busy pounding herbal medicine on the Moon according to the tale.
  • Dragon: 07:00 to 08:59. (2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964) This is the time when Dragons are hovering in the sky to give rain.
  • Snakes: 09:00 to 10:59. (2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965) This is the time when Snakes are leaving their caves.
  • Horse: 11:00 to 12:59. (2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966) This is the time when the sun is high overhead and while other animals are lying down for a rest, Horses are still standing.
  • Goat: 13:00 to 14:59. (2015,2003, 1991, 1979, 1967)This is the time when Goats eat grass and urinate frequently.
  • Monkey: 15:00 to 16:59. (2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968) This is the time when Monkeys are lively.
  • Rooster: 17:00 to 18:59. (2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969) This is the time when Roosters begin to get back to their coops.
  • Dog: 19:00 to 20:59. (2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970) This is the time when Dogs carry out their duty of guarding the houses.
  • Pig: 21:00 to 22:59. (2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971) This is the time when Pigs are sleeping sweetly.

Chinese New Years Animals Origin

Chinese New Years Animals Symbolic Meaning

The yin or the yang of the animals is defined based on the odd or even number of their claws (or toes, hoofs). The animals are then arranged in an alternating yin-yang sequence.

The strong yang attribute comes first, then the balancing yin attribute.

Zodiac Animal  Attribute Odd/Even Yin/Yang
Rat  Wisdom  even and odd  yin and yang
Ox  Industriousness  even  yang
Tiger  Valor  odd  yin
Rabbit  Caution  even  yang
Dragon  Strength  odd  yin
Snake  Flexibility  even  yang
Horse  Forging ahead  odd  yin
Goat  Unity  even  yang
Monkey  Changability  odd  yin
Rooster  Being constant  even  yang
Dog  Fidelity  odd  yin
Pig  Amiability  even  yang

Chinese New Year 2016

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Korean New Year – 2016

Korean New Year

Korean New Year also known as Sesu, Wondan is the first day of Korean lunar calendar. It is one of the most significant Korean holidays. The celebration lasts for three days the day before Korean New Year day, Korean New Year day itself, and the day after Korean New Year day. Korean New Year is falls on the same day as Chinese New Year. But on new moon Koreans New Year falls one day after Chinese New Year. The next New Moon occurrence of Korean will be in 2033. Many Koreans dress up in colorful traditional Korean clothing called hanbok.

Korean New Year 2016

Korean New Year 2016 will falls on Monday 8 February. It also the New year for Chinese as they also follow the same calendar what the koreans follow. It is a famous holiday for family where they planed lot of happenings to be done. The three-day holiday is used by many to return to their hometowns to visit their parents and other relatives, where they perform an ancestral ritual called charye.

Korean New Year Food

“Tteokguk” is a traditional Korean food that is eaten on the New Year. Tteokguk is a soup with sliced rice cakes.

“Jeon” is also a traditional Korean dish especially eaten on the Korea this Day. As a type of a pancake, it is likely same but to be sliced with a knife. It is ripped apart with chopsticks in the belief of making it.

Korean New Year

Korean New Year Games

Yunnori is one of the traditional games of Korea which is very popular. It is played using different types of specially designed sticks. Korean women and girls will traditionally play neolttwigi, a game of jumping on a seesaw.

What is Seollal?

Seollal is one of the most celebrated national holidays in Korea. This year, Seollal falls on January 31 of the Gregorian calendar. More than just a holiday to mark the beginning of a new year, Seollal is truly a special occasion for Korean people.

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New Year – History and Facts Chinese New Year 2016

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Chinese New Year Calendar 2016

Chinese New Year Calendar

Chinese New Year is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the Chinese Calendar. It will be celebrate on 8 February 2016. Chinese New Year is observed as a public holiday in a number of countries and territories where a sizable Chinese population resides. Since Chinese New Year falls on different dates on the Gregorian calendar every year on different days of the week. The number of days for Chinese New Year Calendar varies from 3 days to 15 days, the highest number is for the United States. Here full Chinese New Year calendar is given in detail from which you can plan your holidays.

Chinese New Year Calendar

FIRST DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

First Day of Chinese New Year Calendar is for the welcoming of the deities of the heavens and earth, officially beginning at midnight. People Usually burn Crackers, bamboo sticks and honor one’s elders and families visit the oldest and most senior members of their extended families, their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

Some families may invite alion dance troupe as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Chinese New Year as well as to evict bad spirits from the premises. Members of the family who are married also give red envelopes containing cash known as lai see or angpow.

SECOND DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

The second day of Chinese New Year Calendar, known as “beginning of the year”.  Business people of the Cantonese dialect group will hold a ‘Hoi Nin’ prayer to start their business on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year so they will be blessed with good luck and prosperity in their business for the year.

THIRD DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

The third day of Chinese New Year Calendar is known as “red mouth” Chigou, literally “red dog”, is an epithet of “the God of Blazing Wrath”. Rural villagers continue the tradition of burning paper offerings over trash fires. It is considered an unlucky day to have guests or go visiting. This is also considered a propitious day to visit the temple of the God of Wealth.

FOURTH DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

In those communities that celebrate Chinese New Year for 15 days, the fourth day is when corporate “spring dinners” kick off and business returns to normal. Other areas that have a longer Chinese New Year holiday will celebrate and welcome the gods in this day

FIFTH DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

Fifth day of Chinese New Year Calendar is the god of Wealth’s birthday. It is also common in China that on the 5th day people will shoot off firecrackers to get Guan Yu’s attention. In northern China, people eat jiaozi, or dumplings, on the morning of powu.

SEVENTH DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

The seventh day, traditionally known as Renri (the common person’s birthday), is the day when everyone grows one year older. In Southeast Asia it is also the day when tossed raw fish salad, yusheng, is eaten for continued wealth and prosperity.

For many Chinese Buddhists, this is another day to avoid meat.  The seventh day commemorating the birth of Sakra, lord of the devas in Buddhist.

EIGHT DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

On Eight Day of Chinese New Year Calendar family dinner is held to celebrate the eve of the birth of the Jade Emperor, the ruler of heaven. Approaching 12 midnight on this day, Hokkien people prepare for the “Jade Emperor ritual”. In Malaysia, especially, people light fireworks, often more than on the first day.

NINTH DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

The ninth day of of Chinese New Year Calendar is a day for Chinese to offer prayers to the Jade Emperor of Heaven in the Daoist Pantheon. This day, called Ti Kong Dan. Hokkiens will offer thanks to the Emperor of Heaven. Incense, tea, fruit, vegetarian food or roast pig, and gold paper is served as a customary protocol for paying respect to an honored person.

TENTH DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

The Jade Emperor’s party is celebrated on tenth day of Chinese New Year Calendar

THIRTEENTH DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

Thirteenth day of Chinese New Year Calendar is dedicated to the General Guan Yu, also known as the Chinese God of War. People will eat pure vegetarian food – in the belief that it will clean out their stomachs. Almost every organization and business in China will pray to Guan Yu on this day. Before his life ended.

FIFTEENTH DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CALENDER

The fifteenth day of the new year is celebrated as “Yuanxiao Festival”. Candles are lit outside houses as a way to guide wayward spirits home. This day is celebrated as the Lantern Festival, and families walk the street carrying lighted lanterns. In China, Malaysia and Singapore, this day is celebrated by individuals seeking for a romantic partner, akin to Valentine’s Day.

This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.

Chinese New Year 2016

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Chinese New Year 2016 – Significance

Chinese New Year 2016 will celebrated in China between 21 January and 20 February. They follow lunar calendar and is also known as Lunar New Year. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve. Chinese New Year is celebrated with food, families, lucky money (usually in a red envelope), and many other red things for good luck. Lion and dragon dances, drums, fireworks, firecrackers, and other types of entertainment fill the streets on this day. It is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name.

Chinese New Year 2016 – Significance

Chinese New Year is celebrated as festivals and they called it Nian festival (Nian eans to pass the year). Chinese New Year’s Day itself was traditionally named Yuandan literally “the first sunrise”. 

The Chinese lunar calendar is associated with the Chinese zodiac, which has 12 animal signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, Rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal represents a year in a 12-year cycle, beginning on Chinese New Year’s Day. 2016 is a year of the Monkey.

Chinese new year

Chinese New Year’s Eve

Chinese New Year’s Eve represents the fresh start of a new year after a period of remembrance of the passing year, including on radio, television and in newspapers, which starts in early December in countries around the world. It is a day where families China gather for their annual “Reunion dinner”reunion dinner, named as Nian Ye Fan, is known as “Evening of the Passing”

Pasting red couplets, hanging red lanterns, the New Year reunion dinner, setting off firecrackers, giving red envelops to kids etc are very famous.

Chinese New Year’s Eve Food

The New Year’s Eve food includes dishes of meat, fish, leek, jau gok, jiaozi, mandarin oranges, noodles, cakes and seafood (e.g. lobster and abalone) etc.

Chinese New Year's Eve

Red Envelopes

Red Envelopes or Red Packets are the traditional gifts given to each other during this festivals. This is not restricted to particular elders or seniors it may also given to kids or children. Red packets almost contain money and it may vary from one or two dollars to several hundreds. And the amount should be in even numbers. Each even numbers has some significance and Number 8 is considered as lucky and is being exchange most of the time in China and in U.S. Odd and even numbers are determined by the first digit, intead of the last.

The act of asking for red packets is normally called (Mandarin).

Music

“Happy New Year!” (Xīn Nián Hǎo Ya; literally: “New Year’s Good, Ya”) is a popular children’s song for the New Year holiday. The melody is similar to the American folk song, Oh My Darling, Clementine. Due to the influence of “New Year’s Day”, others use Auld Lang Syne instead of this song.

Clothing

Clothing mainly featuring the color red or bright colors is commonly worn throughout the New Year because it was once believed that red could scare away evil spirits and bad fortune.

Chinese New Year Symbols

Chinese New Year symbols is the red diamond-shaped fu characters which are displayed on the entrances of Chinese homes. For the Cantonese-speaking people, if the fuk sign is hung upside down, the implied dao (upside down) sounds like the Cantonese word for “pour”, producing “pour the luck.
Chinese New Year Symbols

Flowers

The following are popular floral decorations for the New Year and are available at new year markets

Plum Blossom – symbolizes luckiness

Kumquat – symbolizes prosperity

Narcissus – symbolizes prosperity

Sunflower  – symbolizes a plant of good year

Eggplant – a plant to heal all of your sickness

Chom Mon Plant – a plant which gives you tranquility

When is Chinese New Year 2016?

It starts from 8 February 2016 and goes on till fifteenth day.

How Long is the Chinese New Year?

It is celebrated worldwide to mark the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar. It is also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year and celebrations can last for about 15 days.

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