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Greet the New Year ... with Chinese New Year Cards

Chinese New Year Money/Gift Card Holder
Chinese New Year
Money/Gift Card Holder

More about Chinese New Year:

Chinese New Year Card

Chinese New Year Card

 

WHEN IS IT?

Each year, the Chinese New Year celebration falls on the date of the first new moon on the Chinese lunar calendar, which can be in late January or early to mid-February. On the Western calendar this is a late beginning, but the festivities will be just as spectacular.

WHAT IS IT?

Arrival of the New Year is an important celebration on the Chinese calendar. It's a time for cleaning house, repaying debts, enjoying feasts, distributing 'laisee' packets (red envelopes that hold gifts of money), remembering ancestors, and renewing family ties. The festival lasts for at least 15 days, until Yuen Sui, or Feast of the Lantern. The 12-year cycle in the Chinese calendar recognizes each of a dozen animals in the Chinese zodiac–rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

The New Year also is considered 'everyone's birthday,' a day on which all become a year older and gift giving is prevalent. 'Gong Xi Fa Cai' is a typical greeting and means 'Wishing you luck and prosperity!'

WHO CELEBRATES IT?

Chinese communities around the world celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.

In the U.S., there are approximately 2.5 million people of Chinese descent, and the celebration of Chinese New Year is an important tie to their cultural heritage.

WHAT IS ITS HISTORY?

Legends surrounding the origins of the ancient holiday abound. One well-known story says the word 'nian' (or 'year') was the name of a man-eating dragon. Nian terrorized the country until a wise man convinced the dragon to eat other beasts, then advised the people to put red decorations on windows and doors to scare away Nian, in case the dragon changed his mind.

HOW DO PEOPLE CELEBRATE IT?

Today, families put up red paper decorations, set off firecrackers, and beat drums and gongs in parades to scare away Nian. Houses may be decorated with symbolic flowers, fruits and colorful pictures to welcome the New Year.

On the eve of the New Year, tradition calls for a feast of food items that signify good wishes. For example, prawns represent liveliness and happiness, and raw fish salad brings good luck.

New Year's day is often spent quietly with family and friends. Married couples give children and unmarried adults money in red envelopes, called 'laisee,' and go door-to-door greeting neighbors and relatives.

In modern day China, the celebration is less formal and time-consuming than it was in the past, but it remains a festive occasion with ties to ancient rituals.

The color red symbolizes the celebration and gold appears as a tribute to the brilliance of Chinese culture. Peach blossoms, narcissus and chrysanthemum all have symbolic value for a New Year of prosperity, good health and happiness.

Wishing business associates wealth, prosperity, and good fortune is a common activity associated with Chinese New Year.

Hallmark introduced Chinese New Year cards in 1999. Hallmark.com features several free e-cards with animation and sound for Chinese New Year celebrations.

The Chinese New Year collection includes many culturally relevant card designs featuring traditional Chinese symbols and bright, bold colors.

The card sentiments are written in Chinese and include English translations.

SOURCE: HALLMARK



More about Chinese New Year around the Web:

Chinese New Year e-Cards

Chinese New Year - Wikipedia

Find Your Fate - Chinese Astrology

 

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