It has begun. But what exactly does that mean?
- Chinese New Year is the most important Chinese holiday.
- It falls between 21 January and 20 February every year.
- On Chinese New Year's Eve, families have an annual reunion dinner to mark the Eve of the Passing Year.
- Legend has it that a beast called Nain attacked villages and killed people and livestock on the first day of every new year. Then one time, he was scared off by a child wearing red. The villagers started hanging red lanterns and lighting firecrackers to keep him away. He was never seen again. (And eventually he was captured by a Taoist monk.)
- Each year is given one of the 12 animals of the Zodiac, so every 12 years it is the Year of the Dragon.
- The Dragon rules between 7am-10am (so clearly this is the year for early risers).
- Ones birth year dictates one's attributes in the same way one's sign of the Zodiac does (er, or does not).
As for the Year of the Dragon, it's considered the luckiest year in the Chinese zodiac. So Happy Chinese New Year, indeed.