Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese Holidays.   The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends with   on the 15th day. Chinese New Year's Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner is known as “chu xi”. It literally means "Year-pass Eve".Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such as China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau,Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and also in Chinatown elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese.

        The first day of Chinese New Year is for the welcoming of the deities of the heavens and earth, officially beginning at midnight. Many people, especially Buddhists, abstain from meat consumption on the first day because it is believed that this will ensure longevity for them. Some consider lighting fires and using knives to be bad luck on New Year's Day, so all food to be consumed is cooked the day before. For Buddhists, the first day is also the birthday of Maitreya Bodhisattva (better known as the more familiar Budai Luohan), the Buddha-to-be. People also abstain from killing animals.
Most importantly, the first day of Chinese New Year is a time when families visit the oldest and most senior members of their extended family, usually their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents.
Some families may invite a lion dance troupe as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Lunar New Year as well as to evict bad spirits from the premises. Members of the family who are married also give red envelopes containing cash to junior members of the family, mostly children and teenagers. Business managers also give bonuses through red envelopes to employees for good luck and wealth.

        The second day of the Chinese New Year is for married daughters to visit their birth parents. Traditionally, daughters who have been...