How is the Chinese New Year calculated?
Chinese New Year, which is really the Spring Festival in China, is based on the lunar/solar calendar, rather than our Western (Gregorian) calendar. The date of the holiday varies from late January to mid-February. The Spring Festival is the oldest and most important festival in China, celebrating the start of plowing and sowing, and the return of life to the earth. Feudal rulers of the ancient dynasties gave great ceremonies to usher in this season. These days, families prepare during the last days of the year by cleaning their houses, paying off debts, cutting hair, and buying new clothes. They put up traditional decorations meant to praise nature and bring good luck. They may burn incense in homes and temples to honor ancestors. Fifteen days of public and private celebrations end with the Lantern Festival.