Among the various celebrations and festivities for the Chinese, Chinese New Year is always deem the most important of all. Chinese families living in different part of the country or the world will make it a point to gather together for Chinese New Year (CNY). This is very similar to the Western concept of getting together during Christmas. Chinese New Year is also known as Lunar New Year as well as The Spring Festival. The Chinese Year is also symbolized by an animal, very much like the Western Zodiac. The animal to symbolize CNY 2006 is The Dog. The most common one is that in ancient China, every year, a big monster would come out during the beginning of the year and start devouring people and crops. One day, a villager suggested firing off fire crackers, bang loud gongs and fly red banner to try to frighten off the monster. It worked! From then onwards, people would always fire off loud fire crackers, beat gongs and drape their houses with red banner to ensure the big, bad monster never return again. Till today, Chinese New Year is still celebrated in the traditional manner.
Of course, that's just a myth. In reality, the Chinese uses a Lunar Calendar which is different from the Georgian or Western calendar, and so, the start of the Lunar new year is time for celebration, very much like New year on the Western calendar. It is also the time when crops are fully harvested and preparations are made for the new planting year and people have some time to rest and celebrate. This is why Chinese New Year is sometimes known as The Spring Festival.