Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is often called the Lunar New Year, especially by people in mainland China and Taiwan. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival.

Celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Koreans, Mongolians, Nepalese, Bhutanese, and Vietnamese.  

Although the Chinese calendar traditionally does not use continuously numbered years, its years are often numbered from the reign of Emperor Huangdi outside China. But at least three different years numbered 1 are now used by various scholars, making the year 2009 “Chinese Year” 4707, 4706, or 4646.

Dublin Library had its own celebration of the Year of the Ox on Monday, February 2nd.   Children’s librarians Monica Ten Eyck and Sue Rodriquez, together with crafts specialist Christie Inocencio, presented a “design your own Chinese dragon” program.  The Community Room was filled with more than 80 children and adults who created their very own dancing. We even had a few dragons receive names from their creators. One beautiful purple dragon ended up with the name Violet, while many others received the name of their designer. We even had a group of special needs children come to the program to enjoy making unique dragons of their own.