This year, the first day of the Chinese New Year has landed on February 14th (which also happens to be Valentineâ€™s Day). Chinese New Year is Chinaâ€™s most important holiday, a joyous occasion complete with days of feasting, giving gifts, decorating, spending time with family, well-wishing, and celebrating the New Year. This is the Year of the Tiger.
One important tradition is that families clean their houses from top to bottom to sweep away any bad fortune and to make way for good luck in the coming year. Red is lucky, and houses are decorated with splashes of the color, the most popular themes being â€œhappiness, wealth, and longevity.â€ Chinese New Yearâ€™s Eve is usually a time for families to get together and feast. The next day some parents will give their children money in red paper envelopes, and everyone will wish each other a healthy and a happy new year.
Despite the snowy, inclement weather currently overtaking China, tonight will be the annual parade organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), and it will follow a new route in Tsim Sha Tsui this year. HKTB Chairman Mr. James Tien said: â€œHong Kong enjoys a global reputation for its vibrant Chinese New Year celebrationsâ€¦[and this year] we will show to the world the excitement that awaits our visitors.â€ The government has predicted that 210 million passengers are expected to take the train there to attend the festivities, and nearly 30 million more will travel by air and millions of others by bus. The line to Jing'An Temple, one of Shanghai's oldest Buddhist temples, â€œstretched around the block as people inside burned incense to bring wealth, health and happiness in the new year.â€
Find out what animal you are (according to the year you were born), and read your horoscope here: