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Friday, January 31, 2014

Philippines-Chinese Communities Welcomes Year of the Wooden Horse

 Dragon dance performers make their rounds of establishments in Binondo, Manila where they are welcomed at every door because of the belief of Chinese-Pilipinos that they bring luck in the countdown to the lunar new year, the Year of the Wooden Horse based on the Chinese Zodiac, which begins today. Pres. Aquino sent his best wishes to the Pilipino Chinese Community who celebrated the arrival of the year of the Wooden Horse last night, citing it's dynamic role in the country's resurgence. Chinese communities around the world welcomed the year of the Wooden Horse at midnight marking the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar. The president had earlier issued Proclamation No. 655 declaring Jan. 31, 2014 Friday as a special Non-Working holiday in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The president in a message of celebration of the Chinese New Year said he hopes that the Pilipino-Chinese community will continue to expand the circles of goodwill and help forge a progressive country. Aquino acknowledge the country draws strength in diversity, saying the nation finds common ground in the people's shared aspirations as well as achieve goals through unity, mutual respect and positive engagement. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It ends 15 days later with the observance of the Lantern Festival. Lunar New Year dates back to 2600 B.C. when Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. Among the traditions observed on New Year's Eve were house cleaning, wearing new clothes and shoes and opening doors, windows and lights, repainting altars, preparations of fruits believed to invite good fortune. Red, the color of joy and prosperity and which is believed to scare away evil spirits and bad fortune, was liberally used in painting and decorating. Others bathed in boiled pomelo leaves for good health. Lucky money in red envelopes are given to children and sweets are served.    
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