Happy Year Of The Ox From China
Millions of people in China and all over the world celebrated the day with great pomp as they ushered in 4,707 - The Year of the Ox. The fifteen-day long celebration that starts on the eve of the New Year, is the most important holiday in China.
The next fortnight will be celebrated with family reunions, lots of good food, and colorful fireworks. Like most festivals the Chinese New Year has a lot of legends and traditions associated with it.
One of them is naming each year after a different animal (a cycle that lasts 12 years and is then repeated). Legend has it, that when Lord Buddha was alive, he called all the animals to celebrate the New Year with him - only twelve came. He named a year after each one and said the people born in that year, would have some of the traits of that particular animal.
Accordingly, people born in the year of the Ox are leaders, dependable, and possess an innate ability to achieve great things. Also just like the Ox, they are extremely intelligent and hard-working souls.
Another tradition is the color red, which is considered very auspicious among the Chinese people. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Accordingly, on New Years Day, people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper and give children red envelopes with money.
The grand finale of the New Year celebrations is a lantern festival, where people hang lanterns in temples and also carry them in an evening parade under a full moon. The highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. Dragons made from silk, paper and bamboo are held up by men, who dance and guide the colorful animal through the streets.
While Chinese New Year is the more popular one, "Tet" - the Vietnamese New Year, is also celebrated on the same day, Tet celebrations however, last for only seven days and for the Vietnamese people, 2009 is the year of the Water Buffalo.
We wish you all a very Happy Year of the Ox or Water Buffalo and Gung Hay Fat Choy (Have a prosperous and Happy New Year)! Enjoy the video of the celebrations from Disneyland Hong Kong , where even Mickey and Minnie Mouse join in the fun.