Chinese New Year 3rd February - The Year of the Rabbit

Featured in the February 2011 handbook.

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Chinese New Year will begin on 3 February 2011 which marks the start of the Year of the Rabbit. The year will be 4709 on the Chinese Calendar. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival. Chinese New Year is the main Chinese festival of the year and it is not a religious event. As the Chinese use the Lunar calendar for their festivals the date of Chinese New Year changes from year to year. The date corresponds to the new moon (black moon) in either late January or February. Traditionally celebrations last for fifteen days, ending on the date of the full moon. In China the public holiday lasts for three days and this is the biggest celebration of the year. The Chinese calendar is different from that used in the United Kingdom. It is made up of a cycle of twelve years, each of them being named after an animal. This is very like our signs of the zodiac. Some people believe that people born in a particular year such as the year of the Dog will have some of the characteristics of that animal.

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