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February 10th, 2013 is the Chinese and Tibetan New Year. I do not know much about the Chinese New Year rituals, but I will mention what little I know about the Tibetan practices.
Losar (“Lo” is Year and “Sar pa” is New), so Losar is the New Year. First of all, the 10 days prior to Losar are considered a time for cleaning and purification. Many people (Tibetans especially) spend these days cleaning their homes inside and out and hanging new prayer flags. Also, they purchase new clothes in preparation for the New Year celebrations. These tens days are called Don (Tone – Wylie spelling is bton), at least I think as I cannot find a lot of info on this. I learned about it from one of my Tibetan language teachers who had been a monk in Nepal.
For some people, the Don period is a time for doing significant Dharma protector practice or Vajrasattva practice as these practices can produce an auspicious new year and / or purify the old stuff and prepare the way for a productive future.
Then, I think in response to the ten day period, the ten days after Losar are considered extraordinarily auspicious as these are the days which celebrate the ten days of miracles when the Buddha supposedly defeated many sorcerers and local priests in contests of miracles. From what I have heard, the second best practitioner was only able to keep up with five miracles compared to the Buddha’s ten.
So these days of purification and clean up time starts today (January 31st) and they will end on the eve of February 10th. This is a time to try to be as virtuous as possible and if you know any practices for purification, then you can do these (if you want or feel the need). Also, if nothing else, this is a good time to clean house, as some days it is too cold to enjoy doing anything out of doors.