The Chinese enjoy a New Year all of their own. It begins when the first new Moon occurs on the first day in the new year, sometime during January/February. The celebrations continue for 15 days until the first Full Moon appears.
The Chinese hang lanterns in their windows and they dress up as elaborately decorated dragons and dance and perform in the streets. They celebrate with a special meal and honour their ancestors and they wear red clothing as they believe this colour represents happiness.
It is their way of celebrating new beginnings and the sowing of new crops.
The Chinese calendar names each year after one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog or pig.
This year, the Chinese New Year commences on February 10th 2013, and is the year of the black snake, also known in China as “little dragon”.