Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year Chinese New Year is well celebrated in the City of Love. The Chinese New Year is a festival celebrating the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunar calendar (traditional lunisolar and solar Chinese calendar). In Chinese and East Asian countries, the festival is referred to as the ‘Spring Festival’ – marking the end of winter and start of spring season.  It commences with ‘lichun’, the first of the twenty-four solar terms. The first day of Chinese New Year starts on the new moon that appears usually between 21st of January and 20 of February. Background of Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. It is celebrated worldwide, prevalently in Chinese communities. Southeast Asian countrizoomes that celebrate the holiday includes the following: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Beyond Asia, it is celebrated in the following countries: Australia, Canada, Mauritius, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and some European countries. Common activities during the festival includes the following: getting together of Chinese families for the ‘reunion dinner’, cleaning of houses, traditional dragon and lion dance, decorating windows and doors with red paper-cuts, lighting firecrackers, and giving money in red paper envelopes. Moreover, each year, an animal is assigned. Only twelve animals are considered: tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat, and ox. 2022 is said to be the Year of the Tiger. Chinese New Year in Iloilo An article by The News Today details the early beginnings of Chinese New Year partnership in Iloilo City. It was when Mrs. Fanny Lao Uy, President of the Iloilo Multi-Sectoral Business Organization, Inc. (IMSBOI) invited the local government led by then (and now) Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas to attend the Chinese New Year Mass at the Santa Maria Parish in 2002. The Santa Maria Parish, through the Jesuit priests, has incorporated Chinese Family Ancestral Rites as part of the Liturgy of the Holy Mass. For the particular mass, Chinese ethnic dances were performed as mass offerings. For Mrs. Uy, it was her way of showcasing Chinese culture to the local government and community. With the aid of the Santa Maria Parish Priest Fr. Manuel Uy, SJ, Mrs. Fanny Uy, and two Chinese organizations, the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Iloilo, Inc. (FCCCII) and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Panay, Inc. (FFCCCPI), Iloilo City launched a city-wide celebration of the Chinese New Year that led to the establishment of Task Force Chinese New Year. Moreover, in 2003, Treñas requested the Filipino Chinese community to aid in the first Chinese New Year celebration in the City of Love. The rest was history.

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