Hi. My name is Xin Nan, also known as Nancy here in New York. Did you know that in China many people celebrate the New Year on February 14th? Although in the United States New Years Day is on January 1st, Chinese New Year is not! In China, there are two different types of calendars—lunar and solar. A solar calendar is a calendar that has to do with the movement of the earth around the sun. This is the one that everyone in America follows. In China, they didn’t start using this calendar until 1911. Before 1911, China used the lunar calendar. The Lunar Calendar is based on the phases of the moon. Today, we use this mainly for traditions and celebrations. With these traditions, the Chinese Lunar zodiac calendar plays a big role. Twelve animals are assigned to each year and the animals, supposedly, characterize the people that are born in that year. 2010 will be the year of the Tiger. They are characterized as strong and short tempered.

I was born in year of Rat (1996). I am supposed to be respected and courageous and I am. Before I moved to New York, I used to live in Fu Zhou. In China, for one week every year, I got to have red blankets. Why red? Red is the color that brings me luck for my New Year. Why did I need luck? My grades were not looking so good. Before New Year’s Day, my mother and I would go shopping for my new outfits. I could not wait to wear all my new things. Everybody on New Year’s has to wear new clothes because we wanted to escape the bad luck and begin with a fresh start. Although my grades weren’t that bad, I could still use more luck. I usually didn’t go to sleep that early, but I knew that I had to wake up earlier than usual to get my red envelopes. Red envelopes were for luck as well. No.. no.. not more luck for my grades, I’m not really sure how the red envelopes bring me luck. I really just wanted the money that was inside! The night before, I always stayed up wondering how much I was going to get. Even though I had to give the money to my mom, I still got excited about getting to hold onto that money for the day.

There are other things I loved about the New Year’s—the food! There were dumplings and Peking duck. There were also candy melons, coconut, kumquat, longan, lotus seeds, lychee nuts, peanuts and red melon seeds. All these different kinds of food symbolize growth, good health, unity, prosperity, fertility, joy, happiness and close family relationships.

Best of all, we have a 22 day vacation for the New Year in China! (too bad I don’t still live in China!) On New Year’s Day, I got to spend the entire day with my friends! These were not just any friends; we were like sisters. I really … really miss them. On New Year’s Day we bought a lot of firecrackers and used the firecrackers to play tricks on our neighbors. For example, we knocked on the door, and before the door opened we lit the fire crackers and put it in front of the door, than we hid. So when the door opened our neighbors would yell and make the funniest faces you’d ever seen! There were so many different types of firecrackers, like spider crackers and fish crackers. We played with them beside the rocks. My friend taught me how to light them so that nothing else would catch on fire.

I always played with my friends during the day so that at night I could spend time with my family. We always ate dinner together and watched the New Year special show. When “The Show” was on, all of China was quiet. The show was one of the most important parts of New Year’s. They had it every year and each year it was different. The show began at 8PM and went all the way to 12Am. 10 seconds before 12AM they would start the countdown and my whole family will countdown with the TV. Everyone will shout the numbers out in front of the TV. I’m sure it was really fun, but I wouldn’t know… I would always fall asleep before the show ended. Everyone always told me that the best part of the show is at the end! And after the show, everyone plays with the fireworks. My mom always woke me up after the show even though I asked her to wake me up before the countdown started. She never did. The fireworks were very nice. Every family had different kinds of fireworks. My grandma always bought those little fireworks that you could hold on one end of the stick and the fireworks sparkled from the other end of the stick. I always took two of them, held them each in one hand, and danced around. I still remember one time when my grandpa almost lit our backyard on fire. Don’t worry, we got the little fire out. I hope this year the back yard won’t catch on fire again!

Even though I’m in New York now, I can still celebrate my New Year’s with my family and new friends. Even though it is one day in America, on New Year’s Day, I go to the parade with my friends and have dinner with my family. I am not going to lie, New Year’s in China is much better! Come on, firecrackers, fireworks, and 22 days off! But I guess it’s not about where you are, but where your family is that makes it New Year’s.

Hi..我的名字是Xin Nan, 我的英文名是Nancy. 你知道很多人在2月13日庆祝新年吗?不过在美国新年是在1月1日, 中国新年不是! 在中国有2种不同的日历 农历和公历. 公历日历是一个以地球围绕太阳而定的—是我们现在在美国用的日历. 在1911年之前中国还没开始使用公历日历,都是使用农历日历. 农历日历是根据月相而定的. 现在我们用农历日历主要用于传统的节日. 有了这些,生肖日历起着很大的作用. 12种不同的动物被分配到不同的年份. 2010是老虎年. 在虎年出生的人的特点是强壮.

我是在鼠年出生的.

在鼠年出生的人很尊重他人,和很勇敢.

在我来美国之前, 我住在福州. 在中国, 每年的一个礼拜我的床单会是红色的. 为什么是红色? 因为红色是新年的幸运色, 可以带来好运哦! 为什么我需要好运? 因为我的成绩不太好. 在新年的前几天, 我和我妈妈为了我的新衣服去购物了. 我等不急的想穿我的新衣服. 每个人在新年都要穿新的衣服, 因为这样可以赶走去年的坏运气带来好运气. 可是我的成绩也不是那么的不好, 但是我还是可以有更多的运气.我通常很少这么早睡觉, 但是我知道明天早晨我要早点起床拿红包. 红包也会带来幸运的哦! 错.错..错这些运气不是给我成绩的, 但是我不太确定红包怎么带来好运. 我只是想要在里面的钱! 在新年的前一个晚上, 我总是会猜想今年我会得到多少钱. 虽然我要把那些前给我妈妈, 但是我还是很开心. 我还爱新年的其它事情!

那些食物! 我们会吃饺子,烤鸭.还有糖果,甜瓜,椰子,金橘,龙眼,莲子,荔枝,花生,红瓜子. 所有的这些食物象征这增长,身体健康,团结,繁荣,子孙满堂,开心,幸福和亲切的家庭关系.

在这些中最好的是我们有22天的放假! 你认为我喜欢花我的时间和我的家人在一起? 错了..我要先和我的朋友们回合先. 她们都是在家人之前.她们不是普通的朋友. 我们感情就想是姐妹. 我很想念她们. 我很少见到她们因为我和她们在不同的学校. 我真,真的很想念她们. 我们经常做恶作剧. 在新年当天我们会买很多的爆竹然后用那些爆竹做恶作剧. 举个例子就像有一次我们敲了一家人的门等到门打开时我们会把点好的爆竹放在他家门前,然后藏起来.当门打开后他们会吓到,你永远都想象不到他们的表情是多么的好笑! 有很多不同的爆竹, 像蜘蛛爆竹, 鱼炮竹. 我们都是在石头旁边玩. 所以其他东西不会着火. 我朋友教我怎么点着那些爆竹.

在白天我会陪我的朋友们玩所以晚上我有时间陪我的家人. 我的我的家人会一起吃晚餐和一起看春节联欢晚会. 春节联欢晚会开始的时候大家都很安静, 晚会是春节最重要的一部分之一. 每年都有而且每年都不同. 晚会在8点开始12点结束. 在结束前10秒他们会开始倒数.我一家会和电视里一起倒数.可是我总是在晚会的一半睡着了. 最经常的是在最后! 春节晚会结束后大家都开始放烟火.我一直告诉我妈妈在倒是开始的时候叫我起床, 可是她从来没有这么做过. 烟火很漂亮. 每个家庭都有不同的烟火.我的外婆总是会给我买那种小小的一根根可以手拿的烟火.我每次都会一手拿一个在院子里跳舞.我还记得有一次我外公差点把后院烧了. 不过别担心, 火不大. 我根本就不知道因为我在和我的表姐玩. 希望今年后院不会再被烧咯!

虽然我现在在纽约, 但是我还是可以和我的家人一直庆祝新年.

不是因为你在什么地方, 而是你的家人和你在一起庆祝新年