Chinese New Year is one of the most important Chinese holidays and is celebrated across east and south-east Asia. Also known as the spring festival, it celebrates the start of new life and the season of ploughing and sowing.
Traditions include an annual reunion dinner for families on new year's eve and the decorating of doors and windows with intricate red paper designs. People thoroughly clean their homes to sweep away any ill-fortunes and children are given money inside red paper envelopes.
Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival, held on the full moon 15 days after the new year - a time when people hang glowing lanterns in the windows of their houses and dancers carry dragons made of paper, silk and bamboo through the streets collecting money.
BBC class clips: Chinese New Year
The whole of China comes to a standstill at Chinese New Year, or 'Spring Festival', as it is more commonly known in Chinese.
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