Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year's Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year".
The source of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors.
Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest cultures. The area in which the culture is dominant covers a large geographical region in eastern Asia with customs and traditions varying greatly between provinces, cities, and even towns. Important components of Chinese culture include literature, music, visual arts, martial arts, cuisine, religion etc.
The Chinese calendar is the collection of the official and civil calendars used in China and some neighbouring countries in different periods of history.
The official calendar in China today is the Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar. It is used for public and business affairs.
Simplified Chinese characters (simplified Chinese: 简体字; traditional Chinese: 簡體字; Pinyin: Jiǎntǐzì) are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Xiandai Hanyu Tongyong Zibiao (List of Commonly Used Characters in Modern Chinese) for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, it is one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s in an attempt to increase literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.
Traditional Chinese characters are currently used in Hong Kong, Macau, and Republic of China (Taiwan). While traditional characters can still be read and understood by many mainland Chinese and Singaporeans, these groups generally retain their use of Simplified characters. To accommodate users of both scripts, Overseas Chinese communities generally use traditional characters.
United Kingdom approx. 466,000 (2009)
British Chinese (also known as Chinese British, Chinese Britons) (Chinese: trad. 英國華僑, simp. 英国华侨, Yīngguó Huáqiáo) are people of Chinese – particularly Han Chinese – ancestry who reside in the United Kingdom, constituting the second or third largest group of overseas Chinese in Europe apart from the Chinese diaspora in France and the overseas Chinese community in Russia. Those born in the UK are known as British-born Chinese or BBCs. The British Chinese community is thought to be the oldest Chinese community in Western Europe, with the first Chinese having come from the ports of Tianjin and Shanghai in the early 19th century to settle in port cities such as Liverpool.
Overseas Chinese (traditional Chinese: 海外華人; simplified Chinese: 海外华人; pinyin: Hǎiwài Huárén) are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the People's Republic of China and Republic of China (Taiwan). People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves overseas Chinese. Overseas Chinese can be of the Han Chinese ethnic majority, or from any of the other ethnic groups in China.