Chinese New Year 2013
A mother holding her child poses for a photo next to a snake sculpture in BeijingReuters

The Chinese New Year is just round the corner and people all across the country have started preparations to ring in the New Year.

This year, around 3.62 billion are expected to travel to China to celebrate the New Year with family and friends. The Chinese New Year is also called Lunar New Year and is celebrated for 15 days.

Within one week, the Year of the Snake will make way for the Year of the Wooden Horse. People who are born under the horse zodiac are touted as very active and energetic. Like the Year of the Snake, the Year of the Wooden Horse would neither be good nor bad for the people [Read the predictions of the coming year here].  

Meanwhile, check out some facts related to the Chinese New Year celebrations here.

1.      Origin: Celebrating Chinese New Year is a centuries-old tradition. It is based on individuals' defence against a mythical brute called the "Nian", by using food and mostly firecrackers.

2.      Spring Festival: The Chinese New Year is also called Spring Festival as it marks the beginning of the lunar calendar. The Spring Festival falls either in January or February every year, depending on the Roman calendar. The Spring Festival is celebrated for 15 days worldwide.

3.      Red: The Chinese consider red as their lucky color. Red paper hangings in the house are a must during the merry season. Red is considered a very auspicious color and is believed to drive off malicious spirits and carry favorable luck, satisfaction, fortune and life span.

4.      Cleaning: The cleaning work should be finished before the New Year's Day, as it is said that it removes bad luck from the house.

5.      Food: Food is considered to be a big part of the New Year celebrations in China. Food symbolizes joy, success, fortunes and long life. During the New Year, the Chinese eat oranges as it symbolizes prosperity.

6.      Biggest Human Migration: During the Chinese New Year the world's biggest human migration takes place. Hundreds of millions of people travel to China to celebrate the New Year with family.

7.      Dragon and Lion Dance: Lion and dragon dances happen every year because of their association with the origin of the celebration. It is believed that boisterous drumming and playing with cymbals will pursue away terrible fortunes and malice spirits.