Happy Chinese New Year 2015 – the Year of the Sheep/Goat! Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4713 begins on Feb. 19, 2015.
Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.
Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history. Being one of the traditional Chinese festivals, it is the grandest and the most important festival for Chinese people. It is also the time for the whole families to get together, which is similar with Christmas Day to the westerners. Originating during the Shang Dynasty (about 17th – 11th century BC), it celebrates family reunion and hopes the advent of spring and flowers blossoming and rich with colorful activities. People from different regions and different ethnic groups celebrate it in their unique ways.
It comes on the first day of Chinese lunar calendar and lasts for almost half of a month. But in folk custom, this traditional holiday lasts from the 23rd day of the twelfth month to the 15th day of the first month (Lantern Festival) in the lunar calendar. Among these days, the Eve and the first day Spring Festival holiday is the peak time. The exact days are different in every year according to the lunar calendar.