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Happy Chinese New Year: Let’s Hope It’s Better Than Past Years Of The Snake
February 10, 2013
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Today is a big day for Chinese people around the world, as they say goodbye to the Year of the Dragon and welcome the Year of the Snake.

The Chinese New Year marks the start of the lunar year, based on a calendar that follows the cycles of the moon.

So, what's in store for 2013. Well, let's hope it's better than past snake years.

Here's a few things that happened in previous Years of the Snake.

2001 - the September 11th attacks

1989 - the Tiananmen Square massacre

1977 - Elvis Presley died

1965 - Malcolm X was assassinated

1941 - Japan attacks Pearl Harbour, drawing the U.S. into WWII

1929 - the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression


Now, don't despair, the Year of the Snake is not all doom and gloom.

In 1941, Cheerios went on the market, and who doesn't like those tasty little O's.

In 1953, the first colour television sets went on sale. The Oscars were on TV for the first time. And Hugh Hefner published the first issue of Playboy (that could be good or bad, depending on who you talk to).

In 1965, the red and white maple leaf was officially adopted as our country's flag, which is awesome.

And the Beatles played the first stadium concert in rock history, in front off 55,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York.

In '77, the Toronto Blue Jays played their first game.

And The Clash released their debut album - changing the life of a little boy in Malton, Ontario named George Stroumboulopoulos.

In '89, Seinfeld went on the air. And in 2001, Apple introduced the iPod.

happy-chinese-new-year-it's-the-year-of-the-snake-let's-hope-it's-better-than-past-snake-years-feature1.jpg Not sure if all that really balances out the bad stuff, but we've got to cling to something - right?

Chinese New Year is also full of fascinating traditions, myths and superstitions. Here's some of them.

No brooms: clean the house before New Year's Day, as it's believed that sweeping the floor during Chinese New Year drives away good fortune and good luck.

Oranges and tangerines: they symbolize good luck and prosperity; just don't show up at someone's house without some - it's seen as disrespectful.

Red is good: A little money in a nicely decorated red envelope is considered a way to spread good luck, health and happiness for the New Year. Bright red clothes and decorations are popular too.

No black: it symbolizes death and bad luck, so the Chinese avoid wearing it on the first day of the New Year.

No Showers or Hair Washing: On the first day of the New Year, it's considered taboo as you could wash good luck away.

Eat Noodles: The longer the better, because long noodles represent longevity in life. Cutting them short is considered a sign of cutting one's life short.

Kids Stay Up Late: It's believed that children must stay up late on the eve of the New Year to "guard the years" for their parents. The later they sleep, the older their parents can live.

Get Knives Sharpened Before The New Year: You don't want to sever good luck.

Happy New Year!

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