Chinese New Year Will Start From February 12

Friday, 12 February 2021

What is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is also known by the name of Lunar New Year. It is a 15-day festival in China and other Chinese communities all around the world that occurs annually. The beginning of this festival is associated with the Lunar Calendar.

When is Chinese New Year?

The Chinese New Year will begin on the 12th of February this year. Unlike the Georgian calendar, the Chinese New Year is based on the Lunar Calendar. This is the reason why the dates of Chinese New Year keeps on changing every year. But it always occurs between 20th January to 20th February.

Chinese New Year celebration

Chinese New Year History:

Chinese New Year is around 3500 years old, that is a long span. No one knows the exact beginning of this tradition or the festival of Chinese New Year. Some people believe that the Chinese New Year’s origin can be traced back to the Shang Dynasty. During that time period, people used to sacrifice animals and hold sacrificial ceremonies to honour their Gods and ancestors. These ceremonies were held at the beginning of the end of each year.

Chinese New Year Traditions:

Chinese New Year is marked by various Chinese New Year activities and traditions. The Chinese people believe that the Gods of Prosperity come down from the heavens on the fifth day of the new year. The businesses will burn firecrackers on this day so it could bring them prosperity and good fortune.

Chinese New Year Traditions
A woman and her daughter look at lanterns and decorations at a market ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in central Phnom Penh, Cambodia, January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

The last day of Chinese New Year is called the Festival of Lanterns. On this day, almost all kinds of lanterns are lit up on the streets and celebrate the Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year Parade is also a very famous part of its celebrations. Happy Chinese New Year Greetings are also exchanged on this festival.

Chinese New Year Decorations:

The streets, buildings, and houses are decorated beautifully in this festival. Red is the main colour of the decorations and the festival. This colour is believed to be sacred and auspicious by the Chinese people. Whether it be red-coloured lanterns on streets or red couplets on doors, red is seen everywhere. Various offices and business hang red-coloured new year pictures to represent prosperity and progress. Most of the decorations on streets and roads are done a month before the Chinese New Year’s arrival. The homes are decorated mostly on New Year’s Eve.

Chinese New Year Decorations
Asian lanterns in international lantern festival; Shutterstock ID 346111880

As 2021 will be a year of the Ox, decorations related to ox will be commonly seen.

Chinese New Year Animals:

The Chinese People relate every year with an animal. That animal is seen to be dominating all the decorations and celebrations. 2020 was the year of the rat, so all the decorations contained rat in them. In the same way, 2021 is the year of Ox will have Ox as a significant part of the decorations and celebrations.

In addition to this, the Chinese people believe that a person born in a particular year will have the characteristics of that years’ animal in him. That’s a belief which is very common among Chinese and people really feel like this. Every person has his/her Chinese New Year, and everyone relates each other to those animals.

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Chinese New Year Zodiac:

The Chinese zodiac, or Sheng Xiao (生肖), the 12-year cycle of animal signs and their attributes. This cycle repeats in every 12 years and is based on the lunar calendar. In order, the zodiac animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.

Year Zodiac
2021 Year of the Ox
2022 Year of the Tiger
2023 Year of the Rabbit
2024 Year of the Dragon
2025 Year of the Snake
2026 Year of the Horse
2027 Year of the Goat
2028 Year of the Monkey
2029 Year of the Rooster
2030 Year of the Dog
2031 Year of the Pig
2032 Year of the Rat

Chinese New Year Dragon:

Dragon is a significant component of all Chinese cultural celebrations. These people believe that they are the descendants of the mythical creatures. When the Chinese people resume their work on the fifth day of Chinese New Year, they have these dragons dance in front of their offices and workplaces. They may also have a dancing dragon performance on the 15th day, which is the last day of Chinese New Year. They consider the dragon to be a symbol of good luck and prosperity for them.

8 Chinese New Year Food Symbols:

Another famous Chinese Tradition is associating food with various symbols and meaning. The 8 Chinese New Year Food Symbols are:

  1. Fish:

A whole fish is a sign of New Year celebrations in China. This dish is supposed to welcome prosperity for the entire year. In Mandarin, the word for “surplus” (余, yú) is a homophone of “fish” (鱼, yú).

  1. Dumplings:

Dumplings represent wealth. This is because of their resemblance to the Chinese Gold Ingots. These are actually oval-shaped pieces of gold that are used as currency in some parts of China.

  1. Chicken:

A whole chicken is usually served on Chinese New Year as a symbol of a united family. As the chicken is high in protein, some believe that chicken also represents rebirth.

  1. Spring Rolls:

Spring Rolls are a famous dish on Chinese New year and is loved by everyone. It is a representation of togetherness and spring season.

  1. Noodles:

Who doesn’t love Noodles? But if you have noodles on Chinese New Year, it will symbolize a long, long life. But make sure to gulp the whole noodle without breaking it to reserve your life.

  1. Glutinous rice cake (nian ago):

The most loved dessert or sweet dish on Chinese New Year is Glutinous rice cake. Due to its literal meaning, this sweet dessert is regarded as a symbol of growth.

  1. Tangyuan:

Tangyuan is special for Lunar New Year celebrations. This is because its name sounds like 团圆 (túanyúan), which means “reunion” or “togetherness.”

  1. Fruits:

Oranges and tangerines are especially popular on Chinese New Year. The reason is their golden colour which is believed to attract wealth. Moreover, the word for orange 橙 (chéng) is a homophone for “success” (成 chéng).

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Some Facts About Chinese New Year:

You are aware of almost all the things that you need to know about Chinese New Year. Wait, we have some interesting facts to tell you. So, let’s get started with them.

  • What should you not do on Chinese New Year?

Some somethings should not be done on Chinese New Year including washing hairs, sweeping the floor, arguing or scolding someone, using sharp objects like scissors, etc.

  • What can you not eat during Chinese New Year?

Chicken and Turkey are prohibited on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

  • What are the fruits for Chinese New Year?

Oranges and tangerines are especially popular on Chinese New Year.

  • What colour should you not wear on Chinese New Year?

Red is the most appropriate colour on Chinese New Year. Black & White are not suitable as they are associated with death or mourning.

  • What are the colours for the Chinese New Year?

Green, Yellow, White, and Silver are the colours of Chinese New Year in 2021. This is going to be the year of Ox.

  • How long is the Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year lasts for almost 23 days, and the celebrations end on the 15th day of the Lunar Calendar.

  • When does Chinese New Year start?

This year Chinese New Year is going to start on the 12th of February.

  • When does Chinese New Year-end?

Chinese New Year will end on the 27th of February in 2021.

  • How to say Happy Chinese New Year in Chinese?

“春节快乐 Chūnjié kuàilè” is Happy Chinese New Year in Chinese.

  • Why is Chinese New Year important?

Chinese New Year is a sacred day for Chinese families and is their biggest festival. It’s the beginning of a new year and a new start from them. They celebrate this festival in honour of their Gods and Ancestors.

  • Who celebrates the Chinese New Year?

The people of China, all the Chinese communities worldwide, and the countries that begin their year with Lunar Calendar celebrate Chinese New Year.

  • What is my Chinese New Year animal?

You can find your Chinese New Year animal based on the horoscope and the fixed cycle of the 12 animals.

  • What countries celebrate Chinese New Year?

This holiday is celebrated in China. It is a public holiday in other countries like Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam. It is not a public holiday in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, or the United States.

  • Why should you not wash your hair on Chinese New Year?

The Chinese people believe that washing off your hair means you are washing off prosperity and good fortune from your life. This is because, in Chinese language, hair and prosper begin with the same character.

  • Is it bad luck to work on Chinese New Year?

Yes, they believe that working on the first few days of Chinese New Year will bring hardships throughout the year.

Happy Chinese New Year!