Chinese New Year 2011 is approaching fast. This year it will fall on February 3rd & it will be the “Year of the Rabbit”.
About Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is an important festival and holiday for Chinese people. It is also the longest holiday in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
The Chinese Lunar Calendar does not begin on January 1st and is a different date every year. The Chinese Calendar can begin anytime between January 21st and February 18th.
Every year is named after an animal. There are 12 animals. So, every 12 years the cycle begins again. The Chinese strongly believe that depending on the animal ruling, the year you were born, will have an effect and influence your life.
Here is a chart showing the dates & animal signs for Chinese New Year.
YEAR DATE ANIMAL SIGN
2010 February 14 Tiger
2011 February 3 Rabbit
2012 January 23 Dragon
2013 February 10 Snake
2014 January 31 Horse
2015 February 19 Sheep
2016 February 8 Monkey
2017 January 28 Rooster
2018 February 16 Dog
2019 February 5 Pig
Celebrating Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year’s Eve
The Chinese will visit relatives and friends during the New Year holiday. They will usually clean the house and wear new clothes and give red envelopes (with money inside) to children (given by the married and elders).
The colour red is symbolic so you will see many people wearing red or many red decorations. Some families will give their homes, doors or window frames a coat of red paint.
Cleaning their homes symbolises a new start. They believe that cleaning will sweep away bad luck and bring good luck.
Chinese New Year’s Day
In addition to giving red envelopes, small gifts will normally be exchanged between friends or friends. Mandarin oranges, cakes or biscuits are common gifts.
You will often hear fireworks during Chinese New Year. They are thought to help in driving away evil spirits. Burning firecrackers are also common. They signify a joyful time of year.
Dragon Dance and Lion Dance
Dragon dance and lion dance is very popular during Chinese New Year. They are colourful, bright and lively. A great way to experience the local Taiwanese culture.
Cuisine During Chinese New Year
These are very popular and available to buy in all shops. The round shape symbolises wealth and good fortune.
This is most commonly eaten in Eastern China. Nian Guo literally means “Year High” which translates as “a more prosperous year“. Nian Guo is made from a glutinous rice flour, wheat starch, salt, sugar and water.
A salty and sweet dried meat. This can also be given as a gift. It is similar to Jamaican Jerky.
There are many other famous Taiwanese Foods and Drinks
Where to go for Chinese New Year 2011
Chinese New Year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Kaohsiung City Government has organised many celebrations during Chinese New Year. Kaohsiung, Taiwan is an excellent place to be during Chinese New Year. The weather in the daytime is still warm and sunny.
San Fong Jhong Street, Kaohsiung
This street, is a dried goods food market. The dried food has come from China and many other foreign foods can also be found.
During Chinese New Year, It is packed with people who are stocking up on food for the holiday period. A good place to go to soak up the atmosphere of Chinese New Year.
The Lantern Festival, Taiwan
Celebrate Chinese New Year 2011 in Taiwan. A fantastic place to be to see local celebrations. The major cities such as Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung all celebrate with the Lantern Festival.
This is normally on the last day of the Chinese New Year. This year it will be on February 17th. You can see magnificent displays of fireworks and beautiful lanterns.
The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival was a huge success in 2010. This year the 2011 Kaohsiung Lantern Festival will be held by the riverbanks of the Love River in Kaohsiung City.
Local and International visitors will visit Kaohsiung to see thousands of traditional and state of the art lanterns. Local delicacies, cuisines and souvenirs can be tried.
Click Here to find out: What is open in Kaohsiung on Chinese New Year?
This year, 2011 Lantern Festival Celebration will also be held in Miaoli. Miaoli is located about 90 minutes away from Taipei.
Apparently, over 48,000 lanterns will be displayed in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record. 100 of these lanterns will be in the shape of a rabbit.
Throwing Firecrackers Ceremony
Taitung City, Taiwan
An interesting ceremony will take place in Taitung during Chinese New Year 2011.
A chosen man will take the role of the “God of Wealth” called “Master Han Dan“. He will only wear red shorts and nothing else.
He will hold a bamboo fan in front of his face and stand on a chair. Four people will then hold the chair up in the air.
The locals will then throw firecrackers at the “God of Wealth“. As he is believed to be the chosen one he is not supposed to feel the cold and bring wealth.
This ceremony will take place on February 17th, 7 pm on Nanjing Road; February 18th, 7 pm at Tianhou Square and lastly on February 20th, 8 pm at Haibin Park.
Firework displays and other performances can be seen.
The Yanshuei Firecrackers Ceremony
This is a popular and well known celebration in Taiwan. This year, the ceremony will be held in Tainan County at Yanshuei Wu Miao Temple on February 16th.
Popular Tainan snacks and firecrackers can be enjoyed. Many historical sites are also worth a visit while you are here, such as the famous Anping Tree House and the Chikan Towers.
Greetings to Greet Family & Friends During Chinese New Year
- Congratulations and Prosperities – Gong Xi Fa Cai
- Happy New Year – Xin Nian Kuai Le
- Happy New Year – Gong He Xin Xi
- Blissfulness and Prosperities – Wan Shi Ru Yi