Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, which means the first day of the Season of Spring. Traditionally, Chinese people call the New Year "Nian" (pinyin: Nián), and "Guo Nian" (pinyin: guò Nián) is commonly used to refer to the act of celebrating the arrival of the Chinese new year. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year's Eve, the last day of the last month of the lunar calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the lunar calendar.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "good fortune" or "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity." Other activities include lighting firecrackers, giving money in red paper envelopes to family children, and traditional lion and dragon dance.