With origins that can be traced back over 4,000 years, Chinese Spring Festival, also known as the Lunar Chinese New Year, is the oldest and most significant celebration in the Chinese calendar.
Thought to have originated during the
time of the Shang Dynasty (1766 BC - 1122 BC), traditionally Spring Festival was
a time to honour deities and ancestors.
Today, in countries with significant Chinese populations including
mainland China, Hong Kong and Indonesia, the festival is marked by many rich
and lively activities. Within
China, regional customs and traditions to celebrate Chinese New Year vary
widely, although many Chinese families come together for an annual reunion
dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year’s Day.
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2016 is
the Year of the Monkey, which ranks ninth out of twelve positions on the
zodiac. It begins on 8 February 2016 at
the start of the Spring Festival and lasts until 27 January 2017.