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Chinese New Year, Chinese spring festival

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year [Chinese Spring Festival] Highlights

Chinese New Year is the grandest and liveliest traditional holiday in China. Since Chinese New Year occurs at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, it is also called “The Spring Festival”. Chinese New Year starts on the first day of the first lunar month in traditional Chinese calendar. Traditional celebration of Chinese New Year starts with the “New Moon” on the first day of Chinese New Year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the Chinese New Year is celebrated as “The Lantern Festival”. At the night of the first full moon (the 15th day of the Chinese New Year) lanterns are displayed everywhere and lantern parades are carried out by kids in the streets and corners of China. Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year in the Gregorian calendar, or solar calendar. Chinese traditional calendar is a lunisolar calendar. It is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. In order to "catch up" with the solar calendar Chinese calendar inserts an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-yearcycle). This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year in the solar calendar.

Chinese New Year’s Eve is the time of gratitude and family togetherness. People who are away from home return on this day to share New Year’s Eve feast with their families, very much like the Christmas in western culture. Traditionally, Chinese New Year Eve is also celebrated as time of thanksgiving. Bidding farewell to the old year and thanking the ancestors and the gods of the household for their blessing and protection. The celebration includes a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household, and the family ancestors. The New Year’s Eve feast honors the great spirits of the ancestors and renews the faith of the present generations for the coming New Year. When the New Year approaches, life is renewed and the New Year begins to unfold amidst the sound of the firecrackers, adding to the holiday atmosphere of rejoicing and festivity. Chinese people love to decorate their home and door panels with Chinese calligraphy characters on red paper for Chinese New Year. The content expresses the wishes for a bright future and good luck. The Chinese character “fú” (literally, blessing and happiness) is a must. People love to place the “fú” character upside down for it is homophonic with “fu arrives”. It is a custom that Chinese people pay visits in the first few days of Chinese New Year to relatives and friends, wishing each other good luck, peace and abundance in the New Year. It is the most fun time for children too, for kids usually receive hóng bao (gifts wrapped in a small red paper bag) from parents, grandparents and relatives.

To Learn more about Chinese New Year (Chinese Spring Festival) Practices

Chinese New Year Dates

Chinese Zodiac Symbols
Chinese New Year Dates
Ox 01/26/2009
Tiger 02/14/2010
Rabbit 02/03/2011
Dragon 01/23/2012
Snake 02/10/2013
Horse 01/31/2014
Monkey 02/08/2016
Rooster 01/28/2017
Dog 02/16/2018
Pig 02/05/2019
Rat 01/25/2020


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