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Sabah is home to a significant Chinese population who settled here as traders while dealing with the local Malayans. Every year in the month of January-February, the Chinese celebrate their New Year by lighting up the streets, decorating their homes with lanterns, arranging cultural programmes in city halls and setting up stalls to sell goodies and Chinese delicacies.

Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year's Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year".

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