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Here’s what you need to know about Chinese New Year

2018 is the year of the dog and your birth year is said to determine your personality

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Chinese New Year officially began on Friday and lasts for two weeks, with 2018 marking the year of the dog.

Often celebrated with vibrant colours and loud sounds like bell ringing and firecrackers, traditional lion dances or parades are also popular in many communities.

Chinese culture puts great emphasis on zodiac animals. They move in 12-year cycles, so if you were born in 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 or 2006 you are known as a dog. Your birth year, and the animal it represents, is said to determine your personality, according to Asian astrology.

READ MORE: Vancouver Canucks to wear red jerseys for Chinese New year

READ MORE: Chinese New Year has its own unique traditions

The Chinese New Year is also one of the world’s busiest travel times, as hundreds of millions of Chinese people make their way home to celebrate with family. Traditions vary, but most believe it is a time to prepare for good fortune in the coming year.

Here are some popular superstitions for Chinese New Year:

DO

Wear brand new clothes

Wear the colour red for joy and happiness

Give red envelopes with lucky money to children and unmarried people

Greet your relatives, neighbours, and friends and wish them well

Eat lots of fish, but don’t eat up all your good fortune

Bring mandarin oranges when visiting family and friends

DON’T

Wash your hair or you will wash away any good luck for the new year

Wear white or black as they are colours of mourning

Use sharp objects like knives or scissors. They’re associated with bad luck as the sharp points are believed to cut away good luck and fortune

Say the number “four” (which sounds like the Chinese word for death)

Mention death or tell ghost stories

Take medicine on the first day of the lunar year

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