Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, is the most important festival in China. Celebrations traditionally run from the New Year Eve to the Lantern Festival on the 15th of the first calendar month.
Within China, the New Year Eve is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. Before that, it is also traditional for every family to thoroughly clean the house, in order to sweep away any bad luck and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "good fortune", "happiness" and "wealth". Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes as present.
In traditional Chinese culture, the lion, like the Chinese dragon, was only an animal which existed in myth until few lions reached central China due to the Silk Road trade. At that time, people mimicked the appearance and actions of the newly arrived lions in a performance, which developed into the lion dance in the Three Kingdoms Period and then became popular to pray for good luck during Chinese New Year and other celebrations.