the lunar new year is a great occasion to the chinese people. it lasts about the first four days of the year， during which people do not work except for the workers on duty. students do not go to school， and shops are closed.
several days before the new year， people begin to prepare. farmers kill pigs， sheep， cocks and hens. city dwellers buy meat fish and vegetables. houses are cleaned； coupletsare posted on the doors. colourful lanterns are hung at the gate.
on the eve of the new year， each family has its members gatherd together and eats a family reunion dinner. after the meal they watch tv until the clock strickes twelve. then every family sets off long strings of small firecrackers and other fire works to welcome the new year. on the first day of the new year， almost everyone is dressed in his or her best. when people meet on the way， they say to each other "happy new year". friends and relatives pay new year calls and gives presents to each other. children indulge themselves in games.
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