Chinese New Year celebrations

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Chinese year 4711

This week the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Bill Randall and the Mayoress Mrs Heather Randall, joined a large contingent of the Brighton and Hove Chinese community at Hove Town Hall, for a Chinese New Year celebration.Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4711 began on February 10th, 2013.

Calculated by the lunar calendar

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

Origins of the Legend

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in snake years are wise, charming, gregarious, introverted, generous, and smart.

Red is a lucky colour

At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck.

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