Far and away the most important holiday in China is Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year. To the Chinese people it is as important as Christmas to people in the West. The dates for this annual celebration are determined by the lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar, so the timing of the holiday varies from late January to early February.
To the ordinary Chinese, the festival actually begins on the eve of the lunar New Year's Day and ends on the fifth day of the first month of the lunar calendar. But the 15th of the first month, which normally is called the Lantern Festival, means the official end of the Spring Festival in many parts of the country. 总的来说在中国最重要的节日是春节,亦称中国新年。对中国人民来说它的重要性就如方圣诞节对于西方人民。这个一年一次的节日日期取决于阴历而不是格里历，因此假日的时间变化从一月下旬到上旬2月。对普通的中国人，节日总是在除夕夜开始,结束于阴历的第一个月的第五天。 但1第一个月的15号，通常称灯会，在国家的大部分地区意味春节的正式结尾。
"Guo Nian," meaning "passing the year," is the common term among the Chinese people for celebrating the Spring Festival. It actually means greeting the New Year. At midnight at the turn of the old and New Year, people used to let off fire-crackers which serve to drive away the evil spirits and to greet the arrival of the New Year. In an instant the whole city would be engulfed in the deafening noise of the firecrackers.