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  • Happy Chinese New Year - of the goat/sheep

    The Dragon Dance was performed at the American Folk Festival held in Bangor, Maine last August. It is a major part of Chinese New Year and will be enacted around the world today. The troupe came from Boston and mesmerized the audience. Photo by Ramona du Houx

     

    By Ramona du Houx

    February 19, 2015 marks the Chinese New Year, which is the longest national holiday in China, spanning a total of fifteen days. New Year’s Day is the most important date in the Chinese calendar. 

    Children are given red envelopes filled with money to bring happiness and good fortune on New Year’s Eve. Some children will sleep with their envelopes, which are considered to be good luck, under their pillow for up to seven days to increase their fortunes.

    2015 is the year of the goat and/or sheep because the Chinese character “yang” can translate in colloquial Chinese as either sheep or goat. It is a special year for those born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1967, 1979, 1991 or 2003 and they can count their lucky colors as brown, red and purple.

    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 trek back to celebrate New Year’s with their families. It’s the world’s largest annual human migration.

    The Dragon Dance was performed at the American Folk Festival held in Bangor, Maine last August. It is a major part of Chinese New Year and will be enacted around the world on New Year's Day. Photo by Ramona du Houx