Today is Chinese New Year.
According to holidayspot.com
“Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade. The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. In order to “catch up” with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-yearcycle). This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors. The sacrifice to the ancestors, the most vital of all the rituals, united the living members with those who had passed away. Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and glory of the family.”
Year 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit by the Chinese calendar.
While I am not Chinese, I do enjoy learning about different ethnicities and history. I went with some coworkers out for lunch yesterday to celebrate the New Year. We went to a Korean BBQ buffet, where I got to try so many different foods that I had never had before and we cooked our own different meats. After we ate, we had a small gift exchange, as is customary with this holiday (according to what I read). I ended up receiving a small Buddha.
Did any of you celebrate Chinese New Year? What did you do?