Happy Chinese New Year 2015

The Chinese New Year is being celebrated today by Chinese communities across the country together with Filipinos who embrace the beauty of their culture.

Earlier, President Benigno Aquino III declared the Chinese New Year as a special non-working holiday. This allows everyone to participate in the celebration, even the non-Chinese.

The Spring Festival (literal meaning of Gong Hey Fat Choy) starts on the second new moon right after the winter solace which usually falls between January 21 and February 20. Others have also called it “Lunar New Year” since the Chinese use a lunisolar calendar. It has been described as the most significant and the longest festivity in the Chinese calendar.

As a tradition, Chinese families clean their houses from top to bottom in order to sweep out and eradicate all the bad luck that are believed to have been accumulated from the previous year. One must also pay off all his pending obligations, resolve previous conflicts, and eliminate unfinished business in order to start the year right.

It is very common to see the colors red and gold around, with the belief that decorations with such colors should be placed near the entrance of their homes or establishments to invite good luck and prosperity in life for the coming year. Red means happiness and life's vitality for the Chinese while gold is for prosperity and wealth.

During the celebration, Chinese people visit their temples to pay respect to their ancestors. On new year's day, families gather together and eat delicious food like Tikoy, or sticky rice, which symbolizes "sticking together as family".

Knives, however, are definitely not allowed in the table because they believe it will "cut off good fortune."

Dancers wearing red costumes while performing the dragon dance can be seen in the streets of China Town. Fireworks are also showcased as a highlight to cast away bad luck and evil spirits.

Surely, a lot of people are excited to watch the parades and presentations being held to welcome the Chinese New Year 2015, the Year of the Goat.