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What Is The Chinese New Year?

The Chinese New Year 2021 will fall on February 12th this year and it is the beginning year of the ox. Chinese New Year is also known as lunar new year or spring festival. The New Year in China falls on a different date each year as it is determined by the lunar calendar. In 2022 the year of the tiger will start on February 1st. The Chinese New Year festival has a history of over 3,000 years and can be dated back to the ancient worship of heaven and earth. Over the many centuries new traditions and celebrations become more entertainment oriented.

There are five main Chinese New Year activities which are:


All over Chinese cities you will see traditional performances which can include lion dances, dragon dances and imperial performances. You can also see lots of temple fairs in the city parks that will be selling Chinese products and Chinese snacks.


On Chinese New Year it is a very special time for families to be together to celebrate and eat food. On Chinese New Year Eve people are expected to be home to celebrate the festival with their families. The Chinese New Year Eve dinner is called the ‘reunion dinner’ and it is the most important meal of the year. Once they have ate the reunion dinner the family will normally watch the Spring Festival Gala which is the most watched tv show in China.


During the Spring Festival people exchange gifts and when gifting a gift pay close attention to the colour of the gift, avoid white as it is associated with funerals and black or blue as they are both synonyms with death. The best colours to choose are red, gold and yellow as these colours symbolize with wealth and prosperity. Chinese people also hand out red envelopes with money in it which is believed to bring good luck, they are mainly given to children and retirees.


During the Spring Festival you will see red decorations everywhere on every street and buildings and houses. The decorations would include red Chinese lanterns which hang on the streets, on banks and official buildings you will see them decorated with red new year pictures and on street front doors they will have red couplets pasted on. Red is the main colour that will be used as it is believed to be an auspicious colour. As it is the year of the ox in 2021, you will see decorations related to rats, children will be given red rat dolls and New Year paintings with an ox on.


In China at 12am billions of fireworks will go up in the sky to celebrate the New Year, the long Chinese tradition is also to set firecrackers off from the first minute of the New Year.

What is typically eaten during the festival?

  • Chinese dumplings as eating these means great wealth.
  • Fish if you eat fish during the festival it means an increase in prosperity.
  • Glutinous rice cake eating these means a higher income or position.

The unlucky things to do or happen at Chinese New Year?

  • The Chinese believe if you sweep up on New Years day you can sweep all your luck away.
  • Having accidents especially if you have to go to the hospital, if you cry and if you break something can bring bad omens.
  • If you give someone a gift with unlucky meanings, colours, words, numbers or even saying something inauspicious.

The luckiest things to do at Chinese New Year?

  • Eating fish especially on New Years Eve and eating carp or catfish with some leftover for New Years day.
  • Giving money and gifts with lucky numbers and lucky red packages with lucky greetings.
  • Lightning lots of red fireworks or firecrackers to scare away the evil and bring in good luck.