Spring Festival Begins Today

January 23, 2012 at 12:00 am


China’s Spring Festival celebrating the Lunar New Year falls on January 23rd this year.  It is based on the ancient Chinese calendar dating back to the Shang Dynasty in 14th century B.C. 

The Chinese calendar marks each new year with the characteristics of one of the 12 zodiacal animals (seen below).  2012 will be the year of the dragon and is considered particularly lucky.  If your child is interested to know under which zodiac animal their birthday falls, they can locate their birth year on this chart (click image to enlarge):

Clip art © by Dixie Allan, 
http://webclipart.about.com

Traditions of the Chinese New Year include house-cleaning, focusing on home and family, posting lucky messages on household entryways, and setting off firecrackers to frighten away evil spirits.  Many children receive gifts of money wrapped in red paper. 

Children at the Upper Tampa Bay Regional Public Library had the opportunity last week to take part in the celebration.  They used Microsoft Publisher to create Chinese paper lanterns:

Here are some additional Spring Festival/New Year Resources:

For more information about this and other FREE programs @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit http://www.hcplc.org/.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012!

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