春节,即农历新年,俗称过年,一般指除夕和正月初一。但在民间,传统意义上的春节是指从腊月初八的腊祭或腊月二十三或二十四的祭灶,一直到正月十五,其中以除夕和正月初一为高潮。春节历史悠久,起源于殷商时期年头岁尾的祭神祭祖活动。在春节期间,中国的汉族和很多少数民族都要举行各种活动以示庆祝。这些活动均以祭祀神佛、祭奠祖先、除旧布新、迎禧接福、祈求丰年为主要内容。活动丰富多彩,带有浓郁的民族特色。

The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it's been called since the 20th century, remains the most important social and economic holiday in China. Originally tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar, the holiday was a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring family together for feasting. With the popular adoption in China of the Western calendar in 1912, the Chinese joined in celebrating January 1 as New Year's Day. China, however, continues to celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year, although in a shorter version with a new name–the Spring Festival. Significantly, younger generations of Chinese now observe the holiday in a very different manner from their ancestors. For some young people, the holiday has evolved from an opportunity to renew family ties to a chance for relaxation from work.

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