Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The new year begins on the first day of the Chinese calendar, which usually falls in February, and the festivities continue for 15 days. At Chinese New Year celebrations, people wear red clothes, give children “lucky money” in red envelopes and set off firecrackers. Red symbolizes fire, which the Chinese believe drives away bad luck. Family members gather at each other's homes for extravagant meals. Chinese New Year ends with a lantern festival. People hang decorated lanterns in temples and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon. The highlight of the lantern festival is often the dragon dance. The dragon-which can stretch a hundred feet long-is typically made of silk, paper and bamboo.
Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is the best known of Hindu celebrations and certainly the brightest. Amid the darkest skies of autumn, lights brighten homes throughout India—a sign of welcome to the gods Rama and Lakshmi. Families get together and celebrate with gifts and feasts. Many families decorate their homes with flowers and draw a colorful rangoli, an intricate pattern made in rice flour, at the entrance of the home. Eid-al-Fitr
More than a billion Muslims around the world observe Ramadan (“month of blessing”), with prayer, fasting and charity. They celebrate the end of Ramadan with a three-day festival, called Eid al-Fitr, which means “breaking of the fast.” It's one of the most important holidays in Islam. (Islam is the name of the religion practiced by Muslims.) During Eid al-Fitr, people dress in their finest clothes, adorn their homes with lights and decorations, give treats to children and visit with friends and family