In less than a week, the Chinese community around the world will be celebrating the Spring Festival or more commonly-known here in Malaysia as the Chinese New Year.
The Chinese New Year festival begins on January 23 and lasts for fifteen days, the last day of which ends in yet another celebration. This celebration within a celebration is Chap Goh Meh, literally meaning the Fifteenth Night in the Hokkien/Teochew dialect.
This fifteenth day celebration is also referred to as the Lantern Festival which is also sometimes known as the Chinese Valentine's Day. In the old days, unmarried girls used to toss mandarin oranges into a body of water, a lake or a river, with the hope of getting a good husband. Here in Malaysia, this tradition is still being practised at a lake in Petaling Jaya, though as part of an organized fun activity to round off the Chinese New Year.
Everyone desires for good fortune flowing from start to end of every new year. Some people are proactively adhering to starting their first day of work at a designated auspicious day after the Chinese New Year celebration. Like in past years, this Year of the Dragon has days that are good and bad to start work for every animal sign. Tradition dictates that one can increase one's chances of a better year ahead by picking a good day to start work. You can find out here the auspicious days to start work. If you need help with finding out the animal sign you were born in, Wikipedia can help.
Image:Chinese lanterns in the night sky of Lijiang, Yunnan - Wikipedia