Chinese New Year
Chinese new year will begin on 3rd of February 2011 which marks the start of the Year of the Rabbit. This year will be 4709 on the Chinese Calendar. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival.
Chinese New Year is the main festival of the Year and is not a religious event. The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, so the date of Chinese New Year changes every year. The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year pattern with each year named after an animal. There are various stories which explain this. The simplest is that Buddha (or the Jade Emperor) invited all of the animals to join him for a New Year celebration, but only 12 animals turned up. To reward the animals that did come, Buddha named a year after each of them in the order that they arrived, starting with the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
Depending on the year you are born, you are believed to have the various character traits of that year's animal.
We will be doing an activity to mark 2011 the year of the rat from Activity Village.