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Chinese New Year: 2019 is Year of the Pig

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Bengaluru, Feb 4: The Chinese New Year officially will begin on Tuesday with the Spring Festival officially and ending with the Lantern Festival on February 19th. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2019 is a Year of the Pig , and it's an Earth Pig year.

People shop for Lunar New Year decorations at a market in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. Chinese will celebrate Lunar New Year on Feb. 5th this year which marks the Year of the Pig on the Chinese zodiac. AP/PTI photo

In Chinese astrology, each year belongs to a Chinese zodiac animal according to the 12-year cycle. The Pig occupies the last (12th) position in the Chinese Zodiac. You are a "Pig Chinese Zodiac native" if you are born in one of these years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019 .

How Chinese celebrate New Year

1. Chinese New Year Decorations - Lucky Red Items

Every street, building, and house where Spring Festival is celebrated is decorated with red. Red is the main color for the festival, as red is believed to be an auspicious color. Red Chinese lanterns hang in streets; red couplets are pasted on doors; banks and official buildings are decorated with red New Year pictures depicting images of prosperity

2. Chinese New Year's Eve - Family Time

Chinese New Year is a time for families to be together. Wherever they are, people are expected to be home to celebrate the festival with their families.The New Year's Eve dinner is called 'reunion dinner', and is believed to be the most important meal of the year.

3. Firecrackers and Fireworks at Chinese New Year

It has long been a Chinese tradition to set off firecrackers from the first minute of their new year. Fireworks have increasingly been added to the cacophony. From public displays in major cities to millions of private celebrations in China's rural areas, setting off firecrackers and fireworks is an indispensable festivity.

4. Chinese New Year Gifts and Red Envelopes

Like at Christmas in other countries, people exchange gifts during the Spring Festival. In rural areas and for older people the New Year gift giving tradition is still strong, but increasingly younger people prefer just to receive red envelopes (by hand or electronically).

The Spring Festival is long and has specific activities and traditions for each day. As usual, they vary between regions. Here is a short summary of what may be on the schedule.

Solar date (2018) Lunar date Title
January 28th December 23rd Little Year (小年—xiǎo nián)
February 4th December 30th New Year's Eve (除夕—chúxì)
February 5th January 1st Spring Festival (春节—chūn jié)
February 6th January 2nd To the in-law’s (迎婿日—yíng xù rì)
February 7th January 3rd Day of the Rat (鼠日—shǔ rì)
February 8th January 4th Day of the Sheep (羊日—yáng rì)
February 9th January 5th Break Five (破五—pò wǔ)
February 10th January 6th Day of the Horse (马日—mǎ rì)
February 11th January 7th Day of the Human (人日—rén rì)
February 12th January 8th Day of the Millet (谷日节—gǔ rì jié)
February 13th January 9th Providence Health (天公生—tiān gōng shēng)
February 14th January 10th Stone Festival (石头节—shí tou jié)
February 15th January 11th Son-in-law Day (子婿日—zǐ xù rì)
February 16th–18th January 12th–14th Lantern Festival Preperations
February 19th January 15th Lantern Festival (元宵节—yuán xiāo jié)

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