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  Happy New Year of the Horse!
Updated 12 February 2002, 14.29
The Chinese Year of the Horse
The Chinese New Year has begun, and Press Packer Meng Yuan explains how it's celebrated.

"Chinese New Year - known as the Spring Festival - is an important festival celebrated mostly in oriental countries, lasting 15 days.

Spring festival written in Chinese
Spring festival written in Chinese
According to the Chinese calendar, on 12 February 2002 we entered the year 4699.

Each of the Chinese years is represented by one of twelve animals, and a black horse represents the Chinese New Year in 2002.

Families get together

For Chinese New Year, families travel thousands of miles just to visit one another.

It is a time for chat, large amounts of Chinese food and laughter.

Dragons performing in the street
Dragon dancing takes place in the streets, as well as fireworks and martial arts performances.

The firework is part of a superstition about letting out the old, and ushering in the new.

People also leave their windows open so that the old may exit the house.

Chinese New Year is a fun day for those who celebrate it, but is also a reminder of Chinese history and culture.

I hope you all enjoy the year 4699!"

Meng Yuan, 15, London

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