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Chinese New Year 2014 on January 31, celebrations begin

Beijing, Jan 30 (): Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Chinese calendar, and this year it will fall on 31 January. This year is the Year of the Horse, which is said to bring wealth and prosperity.

In China, the New Year celebrations are known as spring festival or Lunar New Year. The New Year is determined by the lunar calendar.

The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and has 12 animals, one to represent each year of the luni-solar cycle. Celebrations usually begin on Chinese New Year’s Eve and this year the celebrations will signa the end of Year of the Snake. The year of Horse is coming and horse riding is becoming popular in China following publicity at the Beijing.

The explosions of Lunar New Year fireworks are considered a sound of celebration and a deterrent to evil spirits.

Lunar New Year lasts 15 days, starting from January 31, 2014. This year, its last day falls on Valentine’s Day. Celebrations often continue until the Lantern Festival, held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. It is an action-packed holiday, people can bet on horse races, watch carnivals, fight for prime worship spot at the temple and bargain in bazaars.

Red paper lanterns are hung across houses and in streets. The highlight of this festival is often considered to be the dragon dance. The dragon is usually made of silk, paper, and bamboo and is held upward as people take it through the streets.

Government transportation officials estimate, people will make about 3.6 billion trips. As of late December, more than 154 million train tickets had been sold for the 40-day period that surrounds the Lunar New Year. The holiday is centuries old and is celebrated across mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and other Asian countries.

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