Chinese New Year, also known as “Spring Festival”, is celebrated every year by nearly a quarter of the world’s population. It is arguably the most important social and economic holiday on the Chinese calendar. While modern Asian cities celebrate Western New Year on 1 January, they pull out all the stops for the Lunar New Year where festivities can last as long as two weeks. Chinese New Year 2019 marks the Year of the Pig – a symbol of wealth and prosperity. We uncover the customs around this festival and reveal the best countries to visit to experience the spectacular displays of Chinese New Year.
When is it celebrated?
Chinese New Year is celebrated with the waxing of the full moon, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, so there is no fixed date. The lunar calendar is around 20 days behind the Gregorian calendar, so New Year celebrations usually fall anywhere between 21 January and 20 February until the full moon arrives.
Chinese New Year 2019 falls on 5 February, with an official 7-day holiday from 4 – 10 February.
How is it celebrated?
Chinese New Year is a time for families to get together and celebrate new beginnings. Traditionally, families get together within the first three days of New Year and pay respects to their ancestors. People travel from near and far to come together, with many people leaving the cities and flocking to the countryside. Nowadays, by the third or fourth day, young people prefer to spend the last few days of the holiday relaxing, catching up with friends and going on vacation.
Customs around this festival have evolved over the years, but the older generations are very superstitious and take the customs and traditions seriously.
Spring cleaning and decorating (two weeks before)