The Chinese New Year and stories about it

Best Bet

January 17, 2002|By Tricia Bishop

Your desktop datebook may say 2002, but according to the Chinese lunar calendar, Feb. 12 will mark the beginning of the 4,700th year, along with the start of a multiday celebration known as the Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival. The holiday honors the start of farming season and the Earth's coming back to life after a silent winter.

To prepare for the planet's rebirth, families in China create fresh starts of their own by cleaning their homes from top to bottom, paying their debts, cutting their hair and buying new clothes. Doors are decorated with hanging scrolls that are themselves adorned with good-luck and nature-praising messages. Lights are strung and large family meals are prepared for the eve of the lunar new year. In South China, nian gao, a gummy sweet rice cake, is traditionally served.

Storyteller Linda Fang will appear at the Cockeysville Branch Library Saturday to present Chinese Sticky Rice and the Chinese New Year, stories about the foods and traditions of the coming holiday. 3 p.m., 9833 Greenside Drive, 410-887-7750. Free tickets are required.

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