Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)
Like Christmas in the West, the Spring Festival (also known as the Chinese New Year) is regarded by the Chinese people as the most important and grandest traditional festival. It has a history of more than 4,000 years. Most people living away from home will try their best to come back for a family reunion making it the busiest time for transportation systems in China. The Spring Festival holiday is full of rich and colorful activities and Chinese people from different regions and of different ethnic groups have different customs to celebrate it. Nowadays, more and more families would like to go out for traveling to celebrate the festival.
New Year Calendar, Date and Holiday Duration
Day-by-Day Guide for Celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year:
Chinese Spring Festival is held on the first day of each year of the Chinese lunar calendar. In folk custom, the New Year celebrating starts from the Laba Festival (the 12th day of the 12th lunar month) or Little Year (the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month) to the Lantern Festival (the 15th day of the first lunar month). As the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is also called the ‘the Lunar Chinese New Year’.
Chinese New Year Date and Holiday Period:
2019 Chinese New Year falls on February 5, 2019 and it's the year of Pig. You can check schedule of the Spring Festival in recent years from the following table:
|Year||Date||Holiday Duration (Mainland China)||Chinese Zodiac Animal|
|2018||February 16||February 15 - 21||Dog|
|2019||February 5||February 4 - 10||Pig|
|2020||January 25||January 24 - 30||Rat|
|2021||February 12||February 11 - 17||Ox|
Facts You Might Not Know about Chinese New Year
Traditions and Customs of Chinese New Year
→ Traditions and Customs of Chinese New Year
From the 23rd day of the previous lunar month, every family does a thorough house cleaning and purchases necessities for the festival, including fish, meat, chicken, rice, flour, all kinds of nuts, candies and fruits, etc. Also, new clothes are bought for the New Year. Many Chinese families decorate the house into a festival atmosphere. The Chinese character 'Fu' (with the meaning of blessing and happiness) is pasted on the front door and delicate Chinese paper-cut on windows. Red posters with poetic verses are pasted at the house gate and pictures on the wall.
On the first day of Spring Festival, people dressing up to visit relatives and friends to extend New Year's greetings. Children often receive red packets with ‘luck’ money from parents, relatives and seniors. During the following days, people will visit their distant relatives. The festival is also highlighted with colorful activities including temple fairs, lion and dragon dancing, beating drums and striking gongs, etc. The Chinese Spring Festival comes to an end when the Lantern Festival (on the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year) is finished.
What to Eat for Chinese New Year?
→ Red Envelope during Chinese New Year
How to Decorate for the Chinese New Year?
→ Decoration Ideas for Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year Taboos
New Year Gifts Ideas
New Year Greetings
过年好-- pinyin: Guònián Hǎo (meaning: Happy New Year)
恭喜发财-- pinyin: Gōngxǐfācái (meaning: Wishing you make a lot of money and prosperous.)
萬事如意-- pinyin: Wànshìrúyì (meaning: May all your wishes be fulfilled)
→ More Chinese New Year Greetings and Sayings
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