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Chinese Malaysians Prepare to Celebrate Year of the Dog

S. Mahfuz
Kuala Lumpur
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In Kuala Lumpur and other parts of Malaysia, members of the ethnic Chinese community are preparing to ring in the Year of the Dog.

Friday marks the start of the Chinese New Year, which will begin on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Malaysian Chinese, who represents about a quarter of the multi-ethnic nation’s 28.3 million people, according to government statistics, will bid farewell to the Year of the Rooster in 2017.

New year’s celebrations will also take place in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and other Southeast Asian nations with sizable ethnic Chinese communities.

Unlike Jan. 1, the Chinese New Year coincides with the beginning of spring and can fall anytime between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20, depending on the celestial season. The dog and rooster are among a dozen animals in the Chinese zodiac that are used to represent different years. Next year will be the Year of the Pig.

Chinese New Year traditions include hiding brushes and brooms, paying off debts, making peace with those close to you. Special items to be purchased include money envelopes, oranges and flowers along with new clothes and shoes.

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