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Saturday, 16 February, 2002, 10:32 GMT
The Chinese lunar New Year: Your experiences
Billions of Chinese people around the world are celebrating the Chinese lunar New Year holiday.

And in what is the world's biggest annual movement of people, tens of millions of workers in China have been heading home to see their families.

This year ushers in the Year of the Horse - traditionally said to bring bumper harvests.

And the celebrations are being shared by the Chinese community all over the world.

What are your plans for Chinese New Year? Wherever you are in the world, tell us your party experiences and preparations.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

To me, the most wonderful part of the lunar new year is the reunion dinner on the evening. It's the time when everyone in the family comes together and have a meal together. It is usually a special meal with loads of good food, like abalone, steamboat, and so on, but the most important thing is that all are at the table at the same time. With life now becoming so hectic, how many families truly get to have dinner together each day? So this is an extra special time for me. Of course, for children and those unmarried ones, getting the red packets (hongbaos) is a highlight!
Lim Wee, Singapore

Every person in the world loves a "fresh start", and there is no more invigorating "fresh start" than Chinese New Year! How refreshing to have the spontaneous energetic Year of the Horse to infuse us with its spontaneity and power! We celebrate Chinese New Year in Missouri in harmony with the rest of the world.
Elizabeth Kerry, USA

Fabulous floats, scary fire crackers, gowns, parades and dragon dancers!

Elitewaki, California
I can't believe that I'm not hearing from San Francisco. I understand that this is the largest concentration of Chineese in the West! NON? Anyhow, SF Chinatown is fabulous! Fabulous floats, scary fire crackers, beautiful women, gowns, parades and (my favorite) THE DRAGON DANCERS!
Elitewaki, California, USA

As I celebrate the Chinese New Year, I look back and try to look at what I can do to help my community and shape the world, so the world could be a better place to live. I am planning to go to Galveston with my family. I wish a happy New Year to all of you!!!
Vicheka , USA

Many people of Korea have holiday for lunar New year like Chinese and are heading to their home. Lunar New year is biggest holiday for Koreans. And all of them wish good luck this year. Also i wish good luck to you.. have a nice day..
Sung Man Yoon, Korea (south)

How sweet these days are because I got much money from family for spring festivel as a custom. We'll get enough money for the coming Valentine's Day ! Yeah!
DengQingyuan, Chengdu,China PR

Gong Xi Fah Tsai (Happy and Prosperous)

Edison Yeoh, Sydney, Australia
Chinese/Vietnamese New Year for some of us Chinese/Vietnamese is the only real time of festivity of the entire year. This year I will indulge in the company of family and friends, as well as good food and a good holiday break to Taipei, Taiwan. Happy New Year to everybody, especially to my countrymen from the seven seas and four corners of the earth- Gong Xi Fah Tsai (Happy and Prosperous).
Edison Yeoh, Sydney, Australia

I live with a tiny, insane Chinese Malaysian lady who has gone to see her family for the Chinese New Year. She has just had her first English Christmas but I have never seen excitment like the last week or so. I just hope she has everything she wants! I just wish I could see it.
Mel , UK

Shrove Tuesday, falling on the Chinese New Year... so, Chinese pancakes tonight!
Stuart, Edinburgh, Scotland

Everything is closed, apart from the fast food chains. Im bored, bored, bored.
Mark, Singapore

The kids get spoilt with plenty of red money packets and we renew our acquaintance with my mom's fabulous cooking

Hong Lee, England
As a 'British' Chinese, I will not be celebrating Chinese New Year until the weekend - pressures of the western world. What chances of the British government making it an extra Bank Holiday in the UK in future? As Usual it will be a family celebration with 9 adults and 4 children all squeezing into my sister's house in London.

It is the only time in the year that all the family gathers, the kids get spoilt with plenty of red money packets and we renew our acquaintance with my mom's fabulous cooking. I am personally looking forward to putting a really difficult year behind me to the New Year of the Horse. Wishing evrybody around the World a Happy and Properous Chinese New Year of the Horse.
Hong Lee, England

I like other hundreds of Chinese students in the UK will not be able to celebrate the Chinese new year with our families because the Home Office has been delaying issuing visa extensions for Chinese students studying in universities in the UK for up to six months. The Home office should be applauded for this effort for taking more than six months - keeping someone's original passport and not letting us know whether our visa is accepted or rejected.
Liu Ning, China

It's great to be Chinese, since you get to celebrate New Year's Day twice - unfortunately, I'll be spending my New Year's Day in the exam room...
Tsang, Canada

My New Year's resolution is to forget all those unhappy things in the past year

Jinhong Yu, Beijing, China
I used to spend New Year's Eve with my family, but this year I have to work during this special night. Yet I found it was also very interesting because I was with many of my colleagues. Everyone smiled more and talked more. It seems that this night has drawn us more close to each other. My New Year's resolution is to forget all those unhappy things in the past year and start to do what I really want to do and like to do.
Jinhong Yu, Beijing, China

It is a great time to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Horse, with friends here. Everyone will be happier and richer and more successful in the New Year.
Xi Facai, Bahrain

I live in Ukraine, no good Chinese restaurants around here. I'm always desperate for a Chinese meal as it's one of my favourite foods. So I'm looking forward to a Chinese dinner hosted by a friend this Friday. Maybe I'll take along about 10 lunchboxes to stock up on my lo mein for the next few weeks (and I'm hoping I'll get some on Friday). Happy Chinese New Year everyone. Hope the horse gives the world some of its grace and beauty in 2002.
Medha Soni, Indian in Ukraine

Chinese New Year celebration is the biggest festive celebration of the year for traditional Chinese because for many Chinese people, in reality, it is the only serious celebration/holiday they have for the entire year. Unlike people in the prosperous countries in Europe and North America, we do not have that much leisure during the year. Many Chinese work very hard, and they do not even take regular weekend breaks during the year, and work 7 days a week. Chinese New Year could well be the only "excuse" for them not to work. Contrast this with 35-hour-working week in good old France!

Therefore, whatever your general feeling toward the Chinese New Year is, I hope you would appreciate the true significance of these few days to many Chinese people. It might also be the only few days in the year when they actually get to go home from afar and spend time with their beloved family members. Hence also the deep appreciation of family value during New Year and beyond.
T Chung, Malaysia

I wish everyone a Happy Year of the Horse!

Erika Nyman, France
Having lived in China for three years, no Chinese New Year goes by without a steaming plate of home-made jiaozi, or meat-filled dumplings. I'm Finnish: I've made my dumplings in Finland, Britain, China and France; in the company of family or friends of all sorts of origins. This year I cooked them for just my family and me. I wish everyone a Happy Year of the Horse!
Erika Nyman, France

The Year of the Snake has gone and the Year of the Horse is upon us. According to Chinese astrologers, elemental forces are in conflict and we're in for a terrible year. So why are billions of people celebrating? Do they know something the rest of us don't? It's all rather worrying...
Chris B, England

Over the past year, the whole world has suffered from weakness in the global economy. I hope the coming horse year will bring prosperity and better economy to the world. "Horse" in the Chinese sense means a positive attitude and to run forward.
Zhiyong Lu, China

We've got the best of both worlds

Chris Gower,
Hong Kong
As a Guilo living in Hong Kong, I think we've got the best of both worlds. We've just celebrated Christmas and now we've got a week off to celebrate the Chinese New Year. It's a really great opportunity to explore other areas close by and as such I'm going to Vietnam and Laos over the next few days.
Chris Gower, Hong Kong

I will be celebrating by treating myself to a different Chinese takeaway every day this week. After all, they make the best food in the world.
Mark Blackburn, Essex, UK

It really does deserve to be celebrated. I'm going to do my bit by just eating Sushi this week and I have decided to take up the great Chinese pastime of table tennis.
Julian Alexander, Beijing

Chinese is the third language in Canada and second here in Toronto. Over the years it has become a mainstream festival and is celebrated with family reunions and banquets. Even the post office joins in with colourful stamps each Lunar New Year, and this year's are the best ever. This is also 4700 in the lunar calendar. Gung Shi Fah Tsai to everybody!
David Ireton, Canada

My family will be having a fireworks and kites party

Len Crank, Billinge, England
To celebrate the Chinese New Year my family will be having a fireworks and kites party with lots of traditional food such as chicken and noodle soup to commemorate China of the past.
Len Crank, Billinge, England

I am going to drink many different types of Chinese beer. Nice.
Fraser, Essex, England

I will invite my British friends for a dinner, treating them some traditional Chinese food, such as sweet and sour spare ribs, bean curd, etc. But most of all, I hope I could make them drunk with Moutai, the most famous brand of Chinese spirit.
Daming Shi, Southampton, UK

As a Vietnamese Canadian, I will be embracing both the Vietnamese New Year and the Chinese New Year on the same day. Our New Year always lands on the date as the Chinese lunar calendar. I have been celebrating both of these festivities for the last 22 years in Toronto with my families and Canadian friends. I wish all the people around the world a happy new year. My year resolution for this year is to get black belt in Latin Salsa dancing.
Stone "Hai" Nguyen, Toronto, Canada

My best friend spent some time in China and believes they have the best celebrations of any country around the world, and he's from Brazil!
Paul Gower, Australia

See also:

11 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
China on the move for New Year
19 Sep 01 | Business
Inside China: Workers on the move
10 Dec 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: China
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