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Happy Chinese New Year: The year of the goat

Happy Chinese New Year: The year of the goat

goat

This year Chinese New Year starts tomorrow, February 19 and goes until March 5. 2015 is the year of the goat. Based on the Chinese lunar calendar - which is associated with the Chinese zodiac - every year is symbolic of a certain animal.

The Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year is the most important traditional festival in Chinese culture. There are many preparations for this 16-day event.

If you were born in a goat year, this is supposed to be an important year for you. Goats were born in these years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015.

Traits of the goat are: calm, gentle, creative, thoughtful, amicable, persevering, frank and honest. People born goats tend to have fewer health problems and work best in teams. However, goats are very private people so it takes effort to get to know them and even more effort to get them to open up. But a friendship with a goat is very loyal and fulfilling, so they're worth it!

Want to know what symbol you are? Check your birth year.

Who couldn't use some well wishes and some cash?

One tradition most people might be familiar with is the giving of red envelopes. These always contain money and are supposed to bring good wishes from parents to their children. Why not get into the spirit and give one to someone you love or better yet, someone in need?

And like many festive celebrations, fireworks are a big part of the Chinese New Year celebration. Here's a tale as to why:

The Legend of Nian

Nian was a mythical beast who was infamous for eating up the people's livestock, crops, even humans on the eve of the new year.

They say that a wise old man figured out that this beast was scared of loud noises (firecrackers) and the color red. So it's believed that to prevent Nian from attacking people and causing destruction, people would keep food at their doors for Nian so it would not harm them.

They also put up red lanterns (a classic Chinese symbol) and red scrolls on their windows and doors to scare away the beast along with lighting fire crackers which are a big part of celebrations.*

*Source:

Chinahighlights.com

Check your local resources for any Chinese New Year festivities that may be happening. Last year, Melody attended a free festival she discovered through Eventbrite that featured dance performances, crafts, and more.

Writing people's names in Chinese
ChineseNewYearFest

Do you celebrate Chinese New Year? We'd love to hear how your family keeps tradition or creates your own.

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3 crowd-pleasing desserts to serve tonight!

3 crowd-pleasing desserts to serve tonight!

Happy Presidents' Day!

Happy Presidents' Day!