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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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The Spring Festival

The Spring Festival(春节) is the most distinctive Chinese traditional festival. Chinese Spring Festival has a history of over 4000 years. The origin of Chinese New Year has a variety of claims, but the generally accepted theory is that the Chinese New Year developed in the period of Yao and Shun. Chinese New Year is generally the first day of the first lunar month of the year. In the private sector, the Chinese New Year in the traditional sense is lasts from the twenty-fourth day of the twelfth lunar month to the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, with New Year's Eve and the first day for the climax. During the Spring Festival, China's Han and minority ethnic groups will hold various activities to celebrate.

These activities are designed for worship ancestral gods, and pay homage to ancestors, blow away the cobwebs and meet the millennium blessing, pray for harvest as the main content. Chinese New Year has abundant colorful activities with strong ethnic characteristics. Influenced by Chinese culture, states and nations belong to Chinese cultural circle are also celebrating the Chinese New Year customs.

The ancient history of the Spring Festival
Chinese Lunar New Year is known as Spring Festival. It is China's most ceremonious traditional festival, but also a symbol of unity and prosperity of the future at the same time as the festival has placed new hope for people. According to records, the Chinese New Year has a history of more than 4,000 years. Chinese New Year in different times have different names.

In Qin Dynasty, the Spring Festival was called “Shang Ri”, “Yuan Ri”, “Xian Sui”, “Gai Sui” and so on. In the period of two Han dynasties, it was called “San Zhao”, “Sui Dan”, “Zheng Dan” and “Zheng Ri”. In Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties, it was called “Yuan Chen”, “Yuan Ri”, “Yuan Shou” and “Sui Zhao”. During the time of Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasty, it was called “Yuan Dan”, “Xin Zheng”, “Xin Yuan” and so on. In Qing Dynasty, it was called “Yuan Dan” and “Yuan Ri”.

There is a variety of claims about the origin of Chinese New Year, but the public generally accepted theory is that it began in Yao and Shun period while Emperor Yao and Shun led people to worship heaven and earth. Since then, people took that day as the beginning of the year. This is the origin of the Lunar New Year, later called the Spring Festival.

The modern history of the Spring Festival
In Republic of Northern Government, Yuan Shikai defined the New Year's Day as the first day of January in Western calendar while the Spring Festival is defined as the first day of the first lunar month. Chinese Nationalist Party had tried to abolish the Spring Festival, but not accepted by the Chinese people.

On September 27, 1949, Chinese People Consultative Conference first plenary session decided to establish a People's Republic of China and at the same time, using the world-wide Christian era. To distinguish between the two solar and lunar "year", because a year 24 solar terms "spring" just before and after the Lunar New Year, so the Gregorian calendar January called "New Year's Day" and the lunar calendar officially renamed the "Spring Festival”.

Traditional customs of the Spring Festival
Sweep Dust
According to the "Lü Shi Chun Qiu" records, there is the custom of New Year sweep dust in Yao and Shun era in our country. By civil society saying: because of "dust" and "Chen" are homophonic, spring sweep dust have the meaning of "get rid of the old and welcome the new". The intention is to make all the poor out and swept out all bad luck. Every Spring Festival, every household should clean their environment and cleaning various utensils.

Stay up late or all night on New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve stay up is one of the most important activities and the custom had lasted for a long time. The earliest record found in a book named "endemic record" in the Western Jin: on New Year's Eve, every one presented each other wishes, known as the "feed the year"; enjoy food and wine with neighbors, called "say good-bye to the last year"; young and old gather to drink and toast, called "spare the happy year"; stay up all night pending dawn, called "wait for the new year."

Pay a New Year call
Modern society greeting cards were accepted in ancient China and the custom has been implemented. As early as the Song Dynasty, a kind of cards specializing in New Year's greeting has been used between the noble family and the relative scholars, called "name thorn" or "name attached." The plum paper cutting was cut into about two inches wide and three inches long on which was written their names and address. Stick a red bag on each house, known as the "Door Book", on which was written the name of the owner to receive the name of thorns (or name attached). Those who worship might stab (name attached) to the door book that means paying a New Year call. Its significance is the same with modern greeting cards.

Add on: Chinese New Year’s Eve



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