The Chinese New year 2015 is almost here and Chinese community worldwide is waiting with excitement for the arrival of the new lunar year.
Also termed as the 'Spring Festival', the new year of the Chinese calendar is an event of much fanfare and excitement and is celebrated from the Chinese New year eve until the lantern festival on the 15th day of the first month in the Chinese calendar.
This year, it will be celebrated on 19 February. Each year has a designated animal in accordance to the traditional 12-year Chinese animal cycle, and the year starting 19 February will be the Year of the Goat.
The event is usually a fun-filled occasion and fireworks, food and parades are always the order of the day.
Also known as the longest festival in China, the Chinese New Year is considered to be an old tradition to remember and honour deities and ancestors and is celebrated with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm.
Although the 'Lunar New Year' is a wide concept meant to include the celebrations of Koreans and other Asian communities and some Arab groups, the holiday is of the greatest importance to the Chinese community, who will kick off the festival on the second new moon after the winter solstice.
The holiday is embedded and deeply rooted in ancient legends that narrate the stories of villagers in old Chinese civilisations who reportedly set red lanterns and food out each year to scare away 'Nian' – the beast that terrorised children and wreaked havoc to crops and fields throughout the year. The holiday is today celebrated by decorating homes with inscriptions of good-luck phrases, Chinese art and red lanterns.