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Happy Chinese New Year to all of our friends back in China!! This is the longest and most important holiday in the Chinese calendar. Admittedly, we are very pleased to not be in China over this period because there are million of fireworks let off everyday, and even late at night when you are trying to sleep. Not the pretty ones that burst into brilliant colours in the sky… nope, just loud annoying ones that make you wonder if World War III has begun. This holiday also marks the world’s largest annual human migration, as 2.8 billion trips are made across China in what is known as chun yun, when students, migrant workers and office employees living away from home will make the journey back to celebrate with their families.
This year is the “Year of the Sheep” (also known as a Year of the Goat). Those born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 are sheep, who can count their lucky colours as brown, red and purple. Their characters are supposedly kind and peaceful, but in China we have been told not to have a baby in the following year as this is not one of the most favourable years to have been born in. Haha… does that mean we will get a nice discount at the hospital if we have a baby this year?
|Chinese New Year 2013 (Hong Kong)|
An intersting tradition in China, is that children receive red envelopes containing money as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. It is a common misconception that everyone received money, when in fact, it is only those who are not married. Those who are married hand them out. The envelopes themselves are good luck, and contents are meant to bring happiness and good fortune. Some children will sleep with their envelopes under their pillows for up to seven days to increase their luck.