Chinese New Year 2012: Gung Hay Fat Choy (Video)
Year of the Dragon: Chinese New Year 2012
January 23, 2012 is Chinese New Year. The Year of the Dragon is beginning, so Gung Hay Fat Choy (恭喜发财). The Spring Festival (or Lunar New Year) is a major holiday on the Chinese calendar, and is celebrated with fireworks, parades, and gift-giving.
Also see NowPublic contributor infomatique's photo set: Year of the Dragon Festival in Dublin.
The term Gung Hay Fat Choy is also spelled Gung Hei Fat Choi for English speakers; no matter how you spell it, means "Best wishes and congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year."
Below you can see Chinese New Year celebrations from around the world, as we enter the Year of the Dragon.
Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Chinese & Scottish Celebration
Vancouver resident Todd Wong hosts an annual celebration called Gung Haggis Fat Choy, celebrating the calendar overlap of Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Night: a celebration of Canadian multiculturalism.
The Nian: Origin of Lunar New Year Celebrations
According to legend, the elements of Chinese New Year celebration (lanterns, fireworks, and the color red) started with the fight against a creature called the Nian, which would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even children. Villagers would leave food outside their doors in hopes of appeasing the Nian.
Eventually, the villagers learned that the Nian was afraid of the colour red. The villagers would then hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors each Lunar New Year, as well as setting off firecrackers to scare away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again, and was eventually captured and tamed by a Taoist monk.