Chinese New Year, known in Chinese as the Spring Festival (Simplified Chinese: 春节; Traditional Chinese: 春節; pinyin: Chūnjié) or the Lunar New Year (Simplified Chinese: 农历新年; Traditional Chinese: 農曆新年; pinyin: Nónglì xīnnián), is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. The Chinese New Year festival begins on the first day of the first lunar month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: zhēng yuè) of the Chinese calendar, and ends on the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the month.
Chinese New Year's Eve is known as Chúxì (除夕). Chu literally means "change" and xi means "night".
It is unclear when the beginning of the year was celebrated before the Qin Dynasty. It is possible that the beginning of the year began with month 1 during the Xia Dynasty, month 12 during the Shang Dynasty, and month 11 during the Zhou Dynasty in China. We know that intercalary months, used to keep the lunar calendar synchronized with the sun, were added after month 12 during both the Shang Dynasty (according to surviving oracle bones) and the Zhou Dynasty (according to Sima Qian). In 104 BC, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty established month 1 as the beginning of the year, where it remains.
According to legend, in ancient China, the nián (年), a man-eating beast from the mountains, could silently infiltrate houses to prey on humans. The people later learned that the nian was sensitive to loud noises and the color red, so they scared it away with explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of the color red. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations. Guò nián (Simplified Chinese: 过年; Traditional Chinese: 過年), which means to celebrate the new year, literally means the passing of the nian beast.
Celebrated internationally in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered to be a major holiday for the Chinese as well as ethnic groups who were strongly influenced by Chinese culture. This includes Japanese, Koreans, Miao (Chinese Hmong), Mongolians, Vietnamese, Tibetans, the Nepalese and the Bhutanese (see Losar).
Chinese New Year is also the time of the the largest human migration, when overseas Chinese all around the world return home on the eve of Chinese New Year to have reunion dinners with their families.
The Snake (蛇) is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac and related to the Chinese calendar, as well as in related East Asian zodiacal or calendrical systems. The Year of the Snake is associated with the earthly branch symbol 巳. The year 2013 in the Chinese calendar is the Year of the (Water) Snake. It began on February 10, 2013 and will end on January 30, 2014. According to traditional texts, some form of the calendar has been in use for almost five millennia. Based on archaeological evidence some form of it has been in use for three and a half millennia. The Chinese year beginning February 5, 2013 is reckoned in the seldom-used continuously numbered system to be 4711.
Chinese call a snake is a little dragon. They said a dragon fell down from the sky and then became a snake. Therefore, Snakes have Dragon's body without scale and cannot fly. Dragon is the 5th animal in the Chinese horoscope order sequence. Snake is the 6th animal in the Chinese horoscope. Dragon is the big brother of Snake. Snake is shame to be on the ground. Snake becomes a clam, shy, cautious and low-key animal. Snake won't attack its opponent, unless it's disturbed. As long as we don't fool with Snake, we won't get bitten.
Snake has the ability to swallow an animal bigger than its size. So we cannot underestimate snake's ambitious. We shouldn't ignore the existence of Snake. Snake is a no-limb animal with fork-like tongue. Chinese treat that spitting tongue as a sign of argument. Actually, Snake uses its tongue to smell. But in the Chinese zodiac, the Snake implies the potential trouble of libel, dispute or slander.
Water Snakes are influential and insightful. They manage others well and tend to be good for organizations to utilize as staff. They are quite motivated and intellectual, very determined and resolute about success. They will have what they desire, despite the conclusion or outcome they generate because it is worth it to them to not only be recognized for their efforts, but to be rewarded as well. They are affectionate with their families and friends but do not show this side of their personality to colleagues or business partners.
Drawing upon the never-ending well of knowledge housed in the even the tiniest drop of water, the Water Snake is the most perceptive and has the most mental dexterity of all the Chinese zodiac Snakes. They are sensitive (though they rarely let it show) and make incredible artists.
These Snakes are the more materialistic of the lot and most likely will be able to buy whatever they want because are ingenious with regards to making and keeping money.
The Chinese Snake personality is, perhaps, the most misunderstood and feared of all the Chinese zodiac signs. Mystical and mysterious those born in the Year of the Snake are renowned for their obvious psychic abilities; they always just seem to “know”. People are drawn to the Chinese Snake consciously, subconsciously and, sometimes, almost against their own will.
Like the Chinese zodiac sign of the Dragon, it is said the Chinese Snake’s very existence is purely karmic and they’ve arrived in the Year of the Snake for the express purposes of settling debts (whether they owe or are owed).
The Chinese Snake’s emotions seem to run so deep, others can easily get a sense that if they become entangled with a Snake, they could get lost forever. Further, not only is this Chinese zodiac sign the deepest of thinkers, they are constantly thinking, calculating and plotting (which can be positive or negative). But they rarely will share their thoughts because, to a Chinese Snake, people are to be mistrusted until proven otherwise. And good luck trying to guess a Snake’s next move.
Usually possessing a great sense of humor the Chinese Snake is reliable, loyal to the death (as long as they are not betrayed), terrific at making and keeping money and a rock during a catastrophe. Should complete devastation occur, the Chinese Snake will, in a most miraculous fashion, “shed their skin” and materialize out of the rubble more resplendent than ever before.