On the traditional Chinese Lunar Calendar, a new year is set to begin on January 28th. According to Chinese astrology, this year is the Year of the Rooster. In Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of china, millions of city workers will return to the countryside for traditional celebrations including fireworks and temple ceremonies. Temple fairs, originally gatherings of vendors catering to pilgrims going to Buddhist and Taoist temples, remain popular. Chinese arts and crafts, foods and dances are features of the festival.

Immigrant Chinese communities also keep their traditions alive through festivals and ceremonies.

Chinese immigration

The Chinese have migrated outside of their homeland for centuries, with significant immigrant communities exist in Singapore, Malaysia, Southeast Asia and the United States. The first waves of Chinese immigration to the United States came in the nineteenth century as workers on the railroads. They mostly settled out west, particularly in California, but have now spread out to all parts of the country.

Wherever the Chinese have gone, they have brought with them their culture. New Year's celebrations feature such events as a reunion dinner for family gatherings, lighting firecrackers and red colored decorations -- red is associated with good luck.

New year celebrations

In Wilmington, North Carolina the Chinese community have a new year celebration at the local university which is open to the local community.

One central feature of this local celebration is sesame noodles, which are said to bring good luck for the coming year. The celebration will also include dancing.

Chinese expatriates living in Long Island New York will also be celebrating. The Planting Fields Foundation is having its annual event which includes decorating the mansion with red lanterns and gifts of red letters containing coins for children.

Coe Hall will also have new year festivities and decorations of oranges, symbolizing happiness, and orchids, symbolizing friendship.

California celebration

San Francisco, home to some of America's oldest Chinese communities, is having a new year parade. According to the event's website it is one of the largest celebrations of Asian culture outside of Asia. Highlights of the parade include a procession of the golden dragon throughout the city. The parade includes several floats and firecrackers. Not to be outdone, Las Angeles will also be taking part in festivities. Like its counterpart in San Francisco, the Los Angeles celebration will include traditional foods, dancers, and a procession of a golden dragon float.

Quieter new year traditions include midnight temple ceremonies in Southern California, where offerings are made to the deities and the custom of sweeping the house to prepare for a new year takes place.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!