Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year, Spring Festival is an annual 15-day festival in China and Chinese communities around the world that begins with the new moon that occurs sometime between January 21 and February 20 according to Western calendars. Festivities last until the following full moon. Chinese New Year occurs on Sunday, January 22, 2023, in many of the countries that celebrate it. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit.
The holiday is sometimes called the Lunar New Year because the dates of celebration follow the phases of the moon. Since the mid-1990s people in China have been given seven consecutive days off work during the Chinese New Year. This week of relaxation has been designated Spring Festival, a term that is sometimes used to refer to the Chinese New Year in general.
During Chinese New Year, people have a long list of things to do. From one week preceding the festival to the 15th day after, many Chinese New Year customs are widely observed for thousands of years. The family reunion dinner, eating dumplings, and setting off fireworks are the must-dos that you might know. What else interesting do the Chinese do? The following website includes a list of 21 Chinese New Year customs that Chinese people usually do during this period of time.
Red pocket, red packet, red envelope... what is this magical red thing? Regardless what term you use, 红包 (hóng bāo) are great because they contain money. The money in red envelopes is also known as 压岁钱 (yā suì qián). Literally, it is “money to anchor the year(s).” It is also known as “lucky money” or “New Year’s money.”
By giving the money to children, elders are hoping to pass on a year of good fortune and blessings. Another version is given by the younger generation to their elders as a blessing of longevity and a show of gratitude.
In some regions of China, rather than between generations, married couples will give red envelopes to their unmarried friends to transfer some luck.
Celebrating the Spring Festival dinner, or Reunion Dinner (年夜饭 Nian Ye Fan), is extremely important to Chinese people, and the whole family must get together to enjoy the most sumptuous meal of the year. Chicken, duck, fish, and pork are necessary. But as the land is vast and China has so many rich resources, the recipes for Spring Festival dinner vary in the different regions. Let’s explore the different recipes of the reunion dinner in the north and the south of China.
Chinese New Year's Eve Family Dinner - Nian Ye Fan
Mention Chinese New Year food, dumplings, fish, glutinous rice balls, and Nian Gao may come into mind. Food plays an important role in Chinese New Year and certain foods which have symbolic meanings of luck and auspiciousness are especially popular and essential during the festival. Here are 7 Chinese New Year Foods that will bring you good luck. Every dish has its symbolism deeply rooted in Chinese culture and expresses people's good wishes for a new year.