What’s Chinese New Year?

Red lanterns during Chinese New Year Parades

Chinese New Year is slightly different to western celebrations. It’s an incredible festival, and there’s so much to learn about it. Chinese New Year marks the beginning of a new lunar year, instead of the start of a calendar year. This means it begins on a different date each year, but it always falls between 21 January and 20 February. 2019 is the Year of the Pig and Chinese New Year officially begins on February 5th.

The Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac Calendar is represented by an animal for each year. There are 12 animals, so you’re matched with an animal depending on your year of birth. Like star signs, our zodiac animal sign tells us traits about ourselves.

The Traditions

It’s customary for Chinese people to clean their home before New Years Day. This is because they believe that cleaning or picking up a broom on New Years Day will sweep any good luck out of the door. Schools and businesses close for a few days so that families can celebrate together.

If you visit during the Chinese New Year, you’ll see loads of celebrations and colorful parades. Each year the Chinese pay respect to the zodiac animal that represents the New Year. Noodle soup is consumed a lot during the holiday as the people believe it brings good luck.

The public regularly enjoys fireworks at night and set off firecrackers in the morning. This is because they believe the noise will scare off monsters and bad spirits.

Interesting Things You Probably Don’t Know

Families place a great emphasis on Chinese New Year, and young singles often feel the pressure of the holiday. Some choose to hire a fake girlfriend/boyfriend for the celebrations! This is to reduce questions from prying aunts and mothers.

Children are given red envelopes containing money. This includes digital red envelopes now, which people often fight over!