Chinese New Year 2013It is sure there must be a burning question in the hearts of the people who love enjoying in the grand occasion of the beginning of a year in China - when is the Chinese New Year 2013? Then there are people who would wonder that why such a rush since the Chinese New Year celebrations for this year just recently concluded a few weeks back. Well to those people it must be said that the Chinese New Year is an extravagant occasion in the Chinese calendar. People who have experienced and shared the amount of joy and enjoyment the new year brings cannot but eagerly await the arrival of the new year 2013.
The celebrations for the Chinese New Year 2013 would commence on Sunday, February 10th. The Lunar new year or the spring festival is the single most important event of the traditional Chinese holidays. It begins with a period of celebrations and jubilations starting on the New Year's day. The day is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, i.e. the day of the second new moon following the day of the winter solstice. The festivities end with the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of that month.
The origin of the Lunar Year festival can be traced back thousands of years and that too involving a series of colorful traditions and legends. The most accepted one is the legend of the ferocious monster Nian. It is said that the beast used to devour people on New Year's eve. To ward off the beast people pasted red colored couplets, lit torches and burst loud firecrackers throughout the night as the monster is said to have been afraid of these things. A feeling of triumph engulfed the people next morning and they engaged in celebrations.
Celebrations for the new year starts well in advance with the sweeping of the streets and decorations of homes and shops with red lanterns and couplets written with black ink on red papers and velvets. It is tradition to hang New Year paintings in the homes on this special occasion. On New Year's Eve customary family reunion dinners are held where family members from near and far try to join in the dinner celebrations. On the New Year day gifts are exchanged among the family. The fifteenth day marks the Lantern Festival where people carry red lanterns and participate in the lantern parade.
Food forms an integral part of the New Year's celebrations. 'Niangao' is a tradition New Year's food that symbolizes raising oneself higher in each coming year. The dish is also presented in front of the kitchen God, Zao Jun. It is believed that the God go off to heaven to report on the family around the New Year. The dish presumably helps in sweetening His report. Cakes, dumplings and salads are commonplace table servings. Tangerines and oranges are symbols of wealth and good fortune. Whole steamed fish and uncut noodles are also hot favorites.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, the year 2013 is the year of the Snake. It begins of February 10, 2013 and ends on January 30, 2014. The Snake represents the sixth symbol of the Chinese zodiac which usually comprises of twelve animal signs. The Snake is believed to be the enigmatic, intuitive, introspective and refined of the twelve animal signs. Ancient Chinese wisdom dictates that the presence of a snake in the house signifies that the family will not starve. The people born in this year are cunning and keen, intelligent and wise. So the children born in 2013 should be blessed with good luck.
The Chinese have a belief that persons acquire strong personality traits of the animals representing the year of the birth of the person. The people born in the Year of the Snake are graceful people, exciting and dark at the same time. They are fascinated with the beautiful things in life. Contemplative and very private, they are not at all outwardly emotional. Deep like a river, they are very modest and like to work alone. They are very calculative and think twice before taking major decisions. The Year of the Snake is for clear thinking and strong events.
So, come February 10th, 2013 people will be up and about engaging in the most anticipated event of the year. The fifteen day long festivities are filled with color and delicacies. The bursting of the firecrackers would drown the cacophony of the people. The people would join together in celebrating the fortunes that the coming year would provide. But for now the question would still remain, when is the Chinese New Year 2013?