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In Kazakhstan, a slightly different animal system is used to honor the 12 Earthly Branches or directions of the zodiac. In fact, 2010 is the Year of the Leopard there, rather than the Year of the Tiger. The capital city of the country features a huge fountain in the center of town, complete with large statues of their own 12 animals, including the Leopard and the Snail.

Korea can celebrate two different New Year’s Days – one on January 1 and one in the second lunar month after the winter solstice  – and have holidays off from work BOTH times. All the more fun!

Winter sports are sometimes celebrated at the Lunar New Year, including outdoor camps for the marital arts (I’ve been to many!) – and they are quite exhilarating. Kite flying is a fun traditional activity as well, as is wearing traditional garments of many colors and enjoying many foods.

More about different variations of Chinese New Year for the Koreans and why they are still celebrated can be found at:

The Two Korean New Year’s

  

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