Chinese New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival”, is China’s most important traditional festival. New Year’s Day normally falls between January 21 and February 20. The 2018 Chinese New Year begins on Friday, February 16. The coming public holiday lasts for 7 days, from the lunar New Year’s Eve to the sixth day of the first lunar month (February 15 - 21). Traditionally, the festival lasts longer, from the Lunar New Year’s Eve to the Lantern Festival, which marks the final day of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Chinese New Year is the most colorful event in the calendar. Apart from eating reunion dinner with family, Chinese New Year is accompanied by an array of customs and traditions, including cleaning houses, giving red packets, watching lion and dragon dances and more.
Customarily, Chinese families clean their houses to sweep away the bad luck of the past year. Don’t forget to avoid dusting on New Year’s Day, for fear that good fortune will be swept away.
Family Reunion Dinner
Chinese families gather for a sumptuous reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. In northern China, dumplings are popular dish during Chinese New Year. Whereas in the south, it’s more common to see Niangao made from glutinous rice.
Traditionally, kids will receive red packets stuffed with “lucky money” and best wishes from senior family members on New Year’s Day. Nowadays young people use red packet apps, so their relatives can transfer cash digitally.
Lion and Dragon Dances
This traditional dance is performed in the street to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals. Dragon dances are performed by a troupe of acrobatic dancers, whereas lion dances are performed by just two dancers. The purpose is to bring good fortune and prosperity to the neighborhood for the coming year.
Year of the Dog
2018 is the year of the Dog. The Dog is the eleventh of all zodiac animals. People born in the year of the dog are considered loyal, honest and just. Always helpful to others, they are popular in social circles.
Hope you now understand better of the festival through this quick introduction. Finally, wishing you luck in the Year of the Dog!