Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival and a public holiday in China. The Chinese New Year 2013 starts oin February 9 (Chinese New Year' Eve). It is the year of snake. The festival falls on the first day of the first Chinese lunar month (usually in late January and early February), and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day of that month.

The festival is celebrated grandly and extensively across the country. Various cultural activities such as lighting fireworks, dragon dancing, lion dancing and other traditional performances, are arranged in parks and streets in cities and towns. Every family thoroughly cleans the house, sweeps the floors and washes daily things. House cleaning is believed to drive away ill-fortune and bring good luck in the coming year. Windows and doors are decorated with red paper-cuts and couplets ...
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The characteristics of the Snake are tempered by one of the five Chinese elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth overlaying a 5-year cycle of characteristics on the original 12-year cycle.
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