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Tomorrow is the official start of the Spring Festival, China’s longest and most important holiday. As China follows the lunar calendar, the Spring Festival is also known as Chinese New Year. The madness of the chun yun travel rush is still going on, but most people should already be home by now. Today, on New Year’s Eve (除夕 – chú xì), families all around China will gather together to ring in the New Year. Students have a nice long break, while most workers are off for a week. The festival itself lasts for 15 days, culminating with a bang (literally) and the Lantern Festival (元宵节 – yuán xiāo jié). This festival has a long history, as well as plenty of interesting customs and traditions. For a basic rundown of this traditional Chinese festival, here’s a video from “The Coolest Stuff on the Planet”:
Much has been said about the Spring Festival here at the Chinese blog over the years. In case you missed it before, here are all of the posts with short descriptions so you can get all caught up:
Speaking of the Chinese zodiac calendar, we’re about to enter the year of the snake (蛇 – shé). If you’re interested in learning more about Chinese horoscopes and what it means to be a snake, this website is full of great information.
As an American living in China, the fact that I get to celebrate a New Year twice never gets old. On December 31st, it’s champagne and a party or concert; on the eve of the Spring Festival, it’s dumplings and fireworks. To all of our incredible readers out there, I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year (新年快乐 – xīn nián kuài lè)!
Here’s a question to get you practicing your Chinese by talking about the Spring Festival:
How are you planning to spend the Spring Festival?
(你打算怎么过春节？- nǐ dǎ suàn zěn me guò chūn jié)