Festival Around the World

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Cambodian New Year (Chaul Chnam Thmey)New Year or Chaul Chnam Thmey in the Khmer language literal translation Coming of the New Year, is the name of the Cambodian holiday that celebrates the new year. Cambodian New Year is celebrated every year in the middle of the month of April and the holiday lasts for three days, most commonly, from April 13th to 15th. Sometimes the holiday falls between the 14th to 16th of April. This time of the year represents the end of the harvesting season. The farmers enjoy the fruits of their harvest and relax before the rainy season begins. The first day of the new year celebration is called Moha Songkran. It is the ending of the year and the beginning of a new one. People dress up and light candles and burn incense sticks at shrines. The members of each family pay homage to offer thanks for the Buddhas teachings by bowing, kneeling and prostrating themselves three times before his image. For good luck people wash their face with holy water in the morning, their chests at noon, and their feet in the evening before they go to bed. Wanabat is the name of the second day of the new year celebration. People contribute charity to the less fortunate, help the poor, servants, homeless people, and low-income families. Families attend a dedication ceremony to their ancestors at the monastery. Tngai Laeung saka is the name of the third day of the new year celebration. Buddhist cleanse the Buddha statues and elders with perfumed water. Bathing the Buddha images is the symbol that water will be needed for all kinds of plants and lives. It is also thought to be a kind deed that will bring longevity, good luck, happiness and prosperity in life. By bathing their grandparents and parents, children can obtain from them best wishes and good advice for the future. During the Khmer New Year Festival, youths gather to play popular traditional games such as Chaol Chhoung (throwing a ball) and Bas Angkunh (throwing brown seeds). The youths are normally divided into female and male teams to play these games. Other traditional games are such as Tres, Chab Kon Kleng, Leak Kanseng, Bay Khom and Klah Klok. The Khmer people will also gather together and visit pagodas and temples on the occasion of the Khmer New year. Each year many residents from other provinces visit Angkor Wat to worship to the powerful gods and trace their ancestors heritage.

Festivals Around the WorldCarnival Chinese New Year ocuk Bayrami Day of the Dead Diwali Esala Perahera Hina Matsuri Eid al-Fitr Holi May Day N'cwala Purim Raksha Bandhan St. Lucia Trung Thu Fact Monster/Information Please

CarnivalBrazils most popular and festive holiday is Carnival. In fact, many people consider Carnival one of the worlds biggest celebrations. Each spring, on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, the streets of Brazils largest city, Rio de Janeiro, come alive with wild parties, festivals and glamorous balls. The Samba School Parade is the highlight of the four-day event. About 3,000 performers, clad in ornate costumes embellished with feathers, beads and thousands of sequins, dance down the parade route alongside dazzling floats and into the Sambadrome-a dance stadium built for the event. Judges award a prize to the most spectacular group of dancers.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The new year begins on the first day of the Chinese calendar, which usually falls in February, and the festivities continue for 15 days. At Chinese New Year celebrations, people wear red clothes, give children lucky money in red envelopes and set off firecrackers. Red symbolizes fire, which the Chinese believe drives away bad luck. Family members gather at each other's homes for extravagant meals. Chinese New Year ends with a lantern festival. People hang decorated lanterns in temples and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon. The highlight of the lantern festival is often the dragon dance. The dragon-which can stretch a hundred feet long-is typically made of silk, paper and bamboo. See also Chinese New Year, Chinese New Year Quiz, and The Chinese Zodiac.

Chinese New Year: 2010

The Year of the Tigerby Holly Hartman

4708 (or 2010) is the year of the tiger

Related Links

Chinese New Year Quiz New! Chinese Zodiac New! China | Map The Chinese Calendar Chinese New Year Dates 20002014 History of Chopsticks History of the Fortune Cookie Famous Firsts by Asian Americans Asian Pacific Heritage Month

Chinese New Year Dates

2008 - Feb. 7 2009 - Jan. 26

2010 - Feb. 14 2011 - Feb. 3 2012 - Jan. 23

Other New Year Celebrations

New Year's Traditions Rosh Hashannah, Jewish New Year Muharram, Islamic New Year

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4708 begins on Feb. 14, 2010. Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

A Year to RoarLegend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in tiger years are natural leaders and excel as actors, pilots, writers, and managers. They are authoritative, courageous, emotional, and intense. Demi Moore,Emily Bronte, Tom Cruise, and John Steinbeck were all born in the year of the tiger.

Fireworks and Family FeastsAt Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

The Lantern FestivalIn China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many ChineseAmerican neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events. The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.

In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragonwhich might stretch a hundred feet longis typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United States, where the New Year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend. In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and floats.

The Chinese Zodiac

The twelve animal signs of the Chinese calendarby Elizabeth Olson

Unlike the Western linear calendar used in the United States, the Chinese calendar features a cyclical dating method that repeats every 60 years. The calendar is based on two cycles that interact with each otherthe Chinese zodiac, which is divided into 12 parts, and the five elements. The five elements are metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. Each year of the Chinese Zodiac is represented by a different animal: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. The five elements are assigned to the 12 animals (years), giving different characteristics to each animal (year). Assigning each of the five elements to the 12 years creates 60 different combinations that results in a 60-year cycle.

Each Sign Has Personality TraitsHoroscopes were developed around animal signs to predict personality traits and destiny. Each animal is known to have certain characteristics that a person born under the sign would demonstrate. The year a person is born determines their animal sign. For example, a person's animal sign is a rat if they were born in the year of the rat. Animal signs are also assigned by month and hours of the day, which are also broken up into increments of 12. It is important to remember when determining the hour in which you were born, that hours are not based on local time, but in relation to the Sun's location, according to the Chinese Zodiac.

Animal Personality Traits

Rat: quick-witted, smart, charming, and persuasive Ox: patient, kind, stubborn, and conservative Tiger: authoritative, emotional, courageous, and intense Rabbit: popular, compassionate, and sincere Dragon: energetic, fearless, warm-hearted, and charismatic Snake: charming, gregarious, introverted, generous, and smart Horse: energetic, independent, impatient, and enjoy traveling Sheep: mild-mannered, shy, kind, and peace-loving Monkey: fun, energetic, and active Rooster: independent, practical, hard-working, and observant Dog: patient, diligent, generous, faithful, and kind

Pig: loving, tolerant, honest, and appreciative of luxury

The Five Elements and Yin and YangMuch of Chinese philosophy is built around five elements, and the belief that the