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A Guide to Chinese New Year

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Chinese lanterns hang during the Chinese New Year event in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, the Special Administrative Region of China.
Afton Almaraz/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Introduction:

Just what is Chinese New Year? There's actually a lot more to it than lion dances and firecrackers, although these two pieces of tradition are integral and more visible, Chinese New Year to China is like Christmas to the West. In essence, Chinese New Year is spending time with family, gift giving and, the all important, food-fest.

When is Chinese New Year this year? The upcoming Chinese New Year falls on January 31, 2014, when we'll be ringing in the Year of the Horse.

Traditions & Events:

Historical Information:

A bit of background on the why and how it all got started:

Chinese Zodiac:

Here is information on the Chinese Lunar Calendar as well as an index to the Chinese Zodiac Signs and their associated characteristics.

The Lunar Calendar & Chinese Zodiac

The Twelve Animal Signs

Traveling During Chinese New Year:

It's possible, and most attractions are open, but fares will increase and many places might be crowded. Read more to understand what travel during the season is like.

Chinese New Year Food:

Here are some wonderful articles about what is traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year from our guide to Chinese cuisine:

Chinese New Year Around the Globe:

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