Friday, February 4, 2011


 3rd February 2011 welcomed in the next Chinese New Year - the Year of the Rabbit!

What Is The Chinese New Year? 

Chinese New Year is the most important of the Chinese holidays, and is a time of feasting with the family, celebration, fireworks, and gift-giving. It is a 15-day holiday, beginning on the first day of a new moon and ending with the full moon on the day of the Lantern Festival.

The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, so the date of Chinese New Year changes every year. The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year pattern with each year named after an animal. There are various stories which explain this.

The simplest is that Buddha (or the Jade Emperor) invited all of the animals to join him for a New Year celebration, but only 12 animals turned up. To reward the animals that did come, Buddha named a year after each of them in the order that they arrived, starting with the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Depending on the year you are born, you are believed to have the various character traits of that year's animal.

The Story Of The Chinese Zodiac: 
How the 12 years of the Chinese Zodiac got their names
(taken from the Activity Village)

Many people have wondered over the years how it was that the rat, the smallest of all the creatures, was given the honour of having the first year of the Chinese Zodiac named after him. This is the story I have heard.

A very long time ago, the Jade Emperor, who ruled the heavens of China, sent a message to all the animals asking them to come together so that he could give each of them a year, which would make it easier for the people of China to keep track of time. The cat and the rat were good friends and decided to travel to meet the Jade Emperor together.

When it came time to leave, however, the cat was taking a nap. The rat, realising that he would have to use all his cunning to be noticed by the Jade Emperor, left his friend sleeping, and set off on his own. This is why there is no year named after the cat, and also why cats have hated rats ever since.

When the rat arrived, the Jade Emperor welcomed him and the other animals and told them that they should all take part in a swimming race. Once again, the rat realised that he would have to be very clever if he wanted to win the race. He found the largest, strongest animal, which was the ox, and pleaded with him to let him ride on its head. The ox was kind and strong, and agreed that they would swim across together. The rat travelled safely across the river on the ox’s back, but, just before they reached the other side, climbed over the ox's head, jumped onto land, and reached the finish line first. The rat had proved its cunning, and the Jade Emperor named the first year after the rat and the second year after the ox.


  1. This video was impressive!!!
    I would like to go to China next year on 3rd February.I really enjoy the way the lion dances.The acrobats inside the lion costume must be trained very hard.Bravo to them!!

  2. I would like to travel to China because it's amezing!!! I would mostly enjoy seeing the acrobats of the lion . I would like to see the area there and the chinese people because they are interesting.

  3. George and StergiosFebruary 4, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    We would like to go to China to learn about their culture and traditions .We would like to learn Kung Fu and acrobatics, but one of us doesn't like Chinese food .

  4. We would like to go there because we find China really interesting and pleasant and their cultural heritage is rich. Also, we are keen on martial arts.

  5. Minas+KonstantinosFebruary 4, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    We would like to visit China and see this New Year's celebration because it's very impressive and interesting. Also we want to go there to see the lion's dance and the acrobats because they're both exciting!!!!!!=) xDpl

  6. I would like to go to China and see all these things.The acrobats are very exciting and the China has a cultural heritage.The dance is very interesting and beautiful.!And if someone goes there they can see the sights and not only the culture. Sights like the Great Wall of China.


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