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RED IS THE COLOUR OF CHINESE NEW YEAR

Red is the colour of Chinese New Year from the lanterns adorning streets, restaurants, shops and houses to the red envelopes given to children by their parents and grandparents. The money in the red envelopes is meant to bring them good luck and ward off evil spirits in fact it is even nicknamed “Lucky Money” as red is perceived by the Chinese to be a lucky colour.

Officially, 14% of the population of Thailand is Chinese, although a greater percentage may identify themselves as "Thai-Chinese" and obviously the visiting tourists will boost the number celebrating in The Kingdom. This is especially true in Bangkok where the city’s Chinatown area is usually the scene of a large party and a plentiful display of red lanterns can be seen Chinese New Year’s Celebrations are the most important of the whole year for Chinese people the general premise being to wish family, friends and relatives health and luck for the coming year. Although officially, for this year, the date is February 16th the celebrations can go on for many days with national holidays public events and family celebrations at home.

As previously mentioned red is China's good luck colour and is also believed to scare away spirits of bad fortune. Legend has it that it all began with the Nian, a ferocious beast that would terrorize villagers on the New Year, eating crops, livestock, and even children. But villagers learned this half bull with a lion head was afraid of three things: fire, noise, and the color red. Nian was defeated and from then on the color red was considered to bring good luck and good fortune to all. The Chinese also usually wear red on New Year’s Day to go with the upbeat mood as black or white is symbolic of death and mourning and therefore not appropriate for the New Year’s celebrations.

Since ancient times, Chinese people have been using the Chinese Zodiac animals to represent the years. Each lunar year is related to a zodiac animal, beginning at Chinese New Year. The 12 zodiac animals recur on a 12-year cycle. For example, this year 2018 is the year of The Dog as it was in 2006. Also 2018 is going to be the Year of the Earth Dog and is supposed to be a good time for lifestyle changes (time to quit smoking or change residence) and for the start of new business ventures. Dog is man's good friend who can understand the human's spirit and obey its master, whether he is wealthy or not. The Chinese regard it as an auspicious animal. If a dog happens to come to a house, it symbolizes the coming of fortune. Let’s hope it brings good fortune to us all.