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Today is the eve of lunar New year. 2012 is a special year, it haven't 大年三十（how to translate this word in English?),only have 大年二九, and next day is the beginning of New Year(大年初一 or 正月初一，正月means the fist month by lunar calendar). We always have bid farewell to the old year on 大年三十. So as you see, I am going to offer sacrifices to my ancestors in my old family house(we call this 过年). We were do Spring Festival shopping few days ago. Then, we are poeticing couplet and firing the firecrakers for to scare off evil spirits and ghosts with the loud pop noise today. If you are a child, money is given to children as a lunar New Year gift. and If you are an adult and have an incomes, parents and some cousins will give this gift for to get rid of the ill-fortune. We have a big family dinner of reunion and thanksgiving dinner , every city (?) will eat a variety of food, it's not that everyone eats dumplings in during Spring festival. Such as I am southern people, Since I am a southern person, we I will eat chicken, fish, egg plant, pork and etc. We put many assorted candles and fruits on in the lobby to treat guests. and in my place, it's popular to give oranges, because in Chinese, the word orange(橘子 or 金桔 or 桔子) sounds like 'Jí', which means good luck. we present this to express our respects and good wishes to my friends and relatives for the coming year. culture note: 1)压岁钱-in the old days, New Year's money was given in the form of one hundred coppercoins strung together on a red string symbolizing the hope that one would live to be a hundred years old. Today, money is placed inside red envelopes in denominations considered auspicious and given to represent luck and wealth. As the economy is developing and life is better than before last, children are given more money more, maybe she or he is richer within those days, you can't believe the sum of money.（btw：I am an adult and a poor student, so my 压岁钱 is zero still yet and needn't to give money to others as well too.） 2)鱼-a whole fish, to represent togetherness and abundance 3)鸡-Chicken must be presented with a head, tail and feet to symbolize comleteness. some blessings in China: 恭喜发财 wishing you prosperity 吉祥如意 everything goes well 心想事成 may all your wishes come true 招财进宝 money and treasures will be plentiful lunar calendar: the Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. therefore the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year Feb.9 除夕 (back native place) Feb.10 初一 or 大年初一 Feb.11 初二 回娘家（Visit the wife' parent)
Notes: 大年三十（how to translate this word in English?) is this word New Years' Eve.
A very good essay Shee Tan. If your spoken English is anywhere near this level, you are doing exceptionally well. You will note that I have made only very minor changes to your text.
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