Chinese New Year


New year is the biggest Chinese festival.

It celebrates the start of the spring, in late January or sometimes in February.

The festival lasts for 15 days!

How do people celebrate the Chinese new year?


Dragon Dance

CN2.jpg

The dragon dance is accompanied by loud drum music.

In China, dragons stand for long life and wealth.

Lion and dragon dances bring good luck!



Red pockets


CN6.jpg

Children receive red pockets from the elders, for example, grandparents, parents, aunties and uncles.

Children should say something lucky when they receive the red pockets, for example, 'xin nian hao'!

Red is the lucky colour of the Chinese new year.

The words on the red pockets are gold.

We put money in the red pockets which means bringing good luck and riches for the new year.


Firecrackers

CN5.jpg

In the olden days, people often set noisy firecrackers outside because people believe the noise can frighten away bad luck.

However, setting firecrackers became prohibited in many countries today because it is easy to catch a fire.

Therefore some countries run a big firework show instead.

The above picture is a New Year firework show in Hong Kong. Isn't that beautiful?


Lantern Festival

CN4.jpg

The Lantern Festival is on the 15th day of the New Year, which is the last day of the new year's celebrations.

Lanterns are in many different colours and shapes, such as animals and flowers.

All these lanterns are handmade by clever craftsmen in China.

We are very fortunate to have the Lantern Festival in Auckland.

This year's Lantern Festival is on the 18th, 19th and 20th of February in Albert Park.

It would be a nice family activity for all of you!



The 12 Chinese Animal Signs

12.jpg

This year is the year of rabbit!

It starts from the rat and goes clockwise in the wheel.

For example, next year 2012 will be the year of dragon.

There is a legend story behind this. The 12 animals were selected through a race.

The mouse came first so that's why it is the first one on the wheel!

If you would like to find out more, watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XA5HpVOm50&feature=rec-LGOUT-exp_fresh+div-1r-3-HM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3ExkOujWhI