Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, no matter what you call it, it is that time of the year which signifies celebration and merriment for millions of Chinese people all over the world. The Chinese calendar has a twelve year cycle and one of the most important characteristics of Chinese New Year calendar is that it names each of the twelve years after an animal.Chinese New Year 2009 is the year of the Ox. A record 200 million people have been on the move across China as the country gets ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year and the start of the Year of the Ox on Monday. The economic slowdown has meant less buying but it has not affected the lure of migrants to celebrate the Spring Festival.
Thousands of people crowded the six-odd temple fairs in Beijing to enjoy specially made snacks and enjoy a variety of games and cultural shows like lion dances amidst the sound of firecrackers. The local Beijing government announced relaxation of restrictions on the bursting of fire crackers in the central parts of the city till February 9. This has resulted in an almost endless din of fireworks across the city from Saturday onwards. There have been strict controls on the use of fireworks, which are being gradually relaxed year after year in the past three years.
Chinese years are named after one of twelve animals. People born in the appropriate year are said to have the personality of the animal:
Rats: are cheerful, charming and welcome everywhere
Oxen: are hardworking and patient
Tigers: have a forceful personality and are adventurous and confident
Rabbits: are home lovers, peaceable and sociable
Dragons: have strong personalities, love their freedom and hate routine
Snakes: are sensitive with a strong sense of responsibility
Horses: are hardworking, admirable and ambitious
Rams: are gentle, caring and achieve what they want by kindness
Monkeys: are charming, cheeky and clever
Roosters: are faithful to family and friends
Dogs: are loyal and caring with a fearless streak
Pigs: are peace loving, trusting and strong.
Chinese New Year 12 Animal Years video-