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January 2014


The Chinese New Year begins on January 31, 2014 and millions of Chinese people the world over will be celebrating during the 15 day long festival. But how much do you actually know about the Lunar New Year? Here are 7 facts about its history and traditions you might not have been aware of!

1.  It initially began centuries ago as a means of protecting the Chinese people against a mythical creature known as the Nian, a child eating beast that lives under the sea or in the mountains. Legend holds that the Nian could be scared off by loud noises and wearing something red, which is why firecrackers and the color red are still prominent in New Year’s celebrations to this day.

2. The Chinese New Year is based on cycles of the moon, which means that unlike Western calendars, Chinese calendars have 6 months with only 29 days and 6 months with 30 days. Every 3 years there is an extra lunar month called rùnyuè.

3. It is believed unwise to wash your hair on the first day of the Chinese New Year as you will be washing away your good luck.

4. In order to make sure you’re not in debt in the new year, all outstanding bills should be paid and any money owed to friends or family should be paid back as well.

5. Legend says that the Buddha asked all of the animals to meet him on the Chinese New Year. 12 showed up and he named a year after each of them.

6. 2014 is the year of the horse and to celebrate, the USPS will be issuing a Lunar New Year Series of commemorative stamps featuring traditional Chinese drums decorated with peonies, a Chinese calligraphic character for “horse” and the paper cut design of the horse, the 2014 stamp is the seventh stamp in the series.

Kam Mak, the official painter of the annual Chinese New Year’s stamp for the USPS, said the idea of choosing the traditional Chinese drum as the central element to adorn the year of the horse stamp came from his childhood memories.

“As a kid growing up in Hong Kong, hearing the sound of the Chinese drumming in the lion dance performance lifted up my spirits for the new year,” Mak said. “The strength of the drum sound is the heartbeat of the lion, what a beautiful and powerful sound to usher in the new year.”

The Chinese-American artist said the inspiration of his concept for the whole Lunar New Year series was based on his personal experiences.

 

What are the characteristics of those born in a Horse year? Horses are typically known to be independent, energetic,  always ready for the next big adventure and highly fond of traveling. They can however also be brash and inconsistent. Famous Horses include Sir Isaac Newton, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Seinfeld.

7. Food served during the Chinese New Year is often symbolic. Fish, which sounds like “excess” or “surplus” in Mandarin is a staple of all meals. Chicken and prawns are for happiness, while oranges and pomelos symbolize good luck and fertility respectively.

Now that you know more about Chinese New Year, dive deeper into the legend of the Dark Dragon in iWin’s latest exclusive release, Chinese Dragon.

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Hey folks, it’s January and the beginning of a new year! Start 2014 off right with a ton of thrilling new games! Get a peek at what’s coming out this month with, the January Game Calendar,  now available for you to download and print out! Click HERE to get your copy and get up to date on all the exciting games coming out in the coming weeks!