Last Updated: 19th November, 2020

Chinese New Year

Chinese new year is on Friday, 12 February (The year of Ox)

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important period of celebration in China. It is celebrated by Chinese people all over the world. The festival is also known as the Spring Festival. It is a fifteen-day long festival which is usually celebrated in the month of January and February. The first day of the festival occurs on the day of the new moon. In 2021, the first day of the Chinese New Year will officially begin on 12th February, however, the preparations will commence a bit earlier.

Chinese New Year Animals

Every Chinese New Year is represented by an animal and the animal zodiac is a repeating cycle of 12 years. Each animal has its own attributes. The 12 animals associated with the Chinese New Year are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The 2021 Chinese New Year is dedicated to the Ox.

The 12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac

OX Rat Tiger Rabbit
Ox Rat Tiger Rabbit
Dragon Snake Horse Goat
Dragon Snake Horse Goat
Monkey Rooster Dig Pig
Monkey Rooster Dog Pig

Significance and Legends

Significance and Legends

The Chinese New Year gains significance because of the myths and the legends that have been associated with it. People, on this day, take the opportunity to pay obeisance to their ancestors and various deities.

The Chinese New Year has an interesting story attached to it. According to a legend, the the origin of the New Year has been attributed to a mythical beast Nian. The malevolent and terrifying beast would prey on villages, especially children to satiate its hunger. Fearful for their lives, all villagers, except one old man, decided to leave the village. Despite requests to leave, the old man was adamant citing that he planned revenge on the beast. Thinking him crazy the villagers departed, leaving the old man behind. The beast, as was expected, came in the dead of night searching for its prey, but came across the old man who had put up red papers and was waiting with firecrackers.

Upon seeing the beast the man exploded the firecrackers and the beast fled in terror. When the villagers arrived in the morning expecting to come across devastation, they were in for a pleasant surprise as everything was intact. The villagers were elated and applauded the old man who they considered as a deity. They also came to know that red paper and fireworks were the instruments to keep the beast at bay. Thus, the Chinese New Year originated and is being celebrated to this day with pomp and gaiety.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Chinese New Year Celebrations

One of the biggest festivals in China, the people get to enjoy seven consecutive holidays. Each day of the fifteen-day long festival is marked by fun and gaiety. The day before the start of the Chinese New Year witnesses family gathering together for the annual reunion dinner. This is also the period when people dispel ill-fortune and usher in good luck by cleaning their homes. Red, the color which frightened the beast, is an important color and the sight of red paper cuts adorning the windows and doors of almost every home is a common sight on these days. These paper cuts carry eloquent messages of optimism, happiness, good fortune, wealth, long life, etc. In the evening people burst firecrackers. Charity is an important aspect of the Chinese New Year and people donate money to the needy, which is presented in red color envelops. Elaborate meals are also cooked on this day and eaten by families and friends. The specialty of these meals are the dumpling.

Chinese people love watching dragon dances, in which trained dancers dance as one “dragon,” often chasing one other dancer, who holds a “pearl.”

Many people like to wear red at Chinese New Year. Red is always a lucky color for traditional Chinese.
That’s why you’ll see plenty of red at Chinese weddings, grand openings of businesses and other celebratory events.

The celebration lasts for 15 days till Lantern Festival. One sixth of the world’s people celebrate it.
It is not only celebrated in Mainland China, but also observed in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and some other Asian countries as well as Chinatowns around the world.

It is the longest public holiday and the whole country is on the move.
Most employees have 7-12 days off the work, and students have one month winter vacation. No matter where they are, people try their best to return home for a family reunion
The reunion dinner on Chinese New Year's Eve is a big feast to commemorate the past year. This is the most important time to be with families.
Fireworks are an important part of the celebration of Spring Festival. The biggest firework show is on Lunar New Year's Eve.

Chinese New Year 2021

New Year Lantern Festival

Chinese New Year is the grandest festival of China which is also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. It is a 7-day long holiday which is a colorful annual event that lasts for around two weeks. This period is dominated by the red lanterns, massive parades, and fireworks.

When is Chinese New Year 2021?

The Chinese New Year 2021 will fall on Firday, 12 February. The festivities will continue for a couple of weeks. As per Chinese zodiac, the year will be dedicated to the Rat.

What animal is it in 2021?

The year 2021 is the year of the Ox. As per the Chinese Zodiac, it is after a 12-year cycle that the specific animal features for the year. The year 2021 is the year of the rat which symbolizes an animal with spirit, wit, alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality.

Which countries celebrate Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is a public holiday which lasts for a few days. Apart from China, the festival is also celebrated in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, and South Korea. Countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the United States do not have public holidays.

Why is Chinese New Year important?

Why is Chinese New Year important

Chinese New Year holds extreme importance because it is the time to worship the ancestors. Also, it is the time to spend time with family and loved ones. During the holidays, people share blessings and abundance of love with their closed ones. It is like Christmas in western countries in China. During this time, people stay home with their families. They spend time drinking, cooking, chatting and enjoying a good meal with family.

How long is the Chinese New Year?

Chinese New yearl lasts for about 23 days, ending on the 15th day of the first lunar month in the following year in the Chinese calendar.

Why do we celebrate Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year was traditionally a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to sit with family together for feasting.

Festivities of Chinese New Year day wise

Festivities of Chinese New Year

New Years' Eve -

On the New Year's Eve, there is a family dinner commonly known as "Annual Reunion Dinner". This meal can be compared to the Thanksgiving dinner in the US. People exchange gifts and give blessings to each other. Some people go to local temples to pray.

First Day -

On the first day of the festival, Chinese avoid consuming meat. A great display of fireworks and firecrackers can be seen on this day.

Second Day -

The Second day is believed to be the birthday of Che Kung, a deity, so usually, worshippers go to temples to seek the blessings of the deity. It is also believed to be the birthday of God of Wealth so business organizations hold a prayer named "Hoi Nin" to get blessed with luck and fortune.

Third Day-

The third day is usually known as "red mouth" or Chigou's Day". This day is considered as the best to know about one's future. Family gatherings are organized on this day.

Fourth Day -

The fourth day is dedicated to the Spring festival. It marks the arrival of Spring, so various springs dinners are cooked and served.

Fifth Day-

This day is the main day when one can witness various types of fireworks in the sky. People eat Chinese dumplings, jiaozi, etc on this day.

Sixth Day-

After the bursting of firecrackers, the business houses re-open on this day.

Seventh Day-

Seventh Day is commonly known as "Renri". It is also called the common person's birth day. The raw fish salad is eaten on the seventh day of festivities.

Eighth Day-

This is the day when holidays are over and people return to their work. On this day, the owners of companies organize a dinner to appreciate the hard work of their employees.

Ninth Day-

The ninth day is called "Ti Kong Dan". It is the day when Chinese offer prayers to the Jade Emperor of Heaven in the Daoist Pantheon.

Tenth Day-

The celebrations of the birth of the Jade Emperor continues to this day.

Eleventh Day-

There are no specific celebrations on this day.

Twelfth Day-

No celebrations are planned for this day, people celebrate this day as per their choice.

Thirteenth Day-

The thirteenth day is reserved for the Chinese God of War and the most famous General "Guan Yu". Prayers are offered to the God of War to get blessings.

Fourteenth Day-

This day is reserved for preparing lanterns that are to be lit on the next day which is the last day of festivity.

Fifteenth Day-

Chinese New Year Fifteenth Day

This is the day of the festival of lanterns. It is commonly known as "Yuanxiao Festival" or "Shangyuan Festival". This day is also marked as Valentines' Day where individuals seek for a romantic partner.

This day marks the ending of festivities of the Chinese New Year.