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A Guide to Celebrating Chinese New Year

A Guide to Celebrating Chinese New Year


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Chinese New Year is the most important and, at 15 days, the longest holiday in China. Chinese New Year begins on the first day of the lunar calendar, so it is also called Lunar New Year, and it is considered the beginning of spring, so it is also called Spring Festival. Learn the traditions and customs of Chinese New Year and how to prepare for and celebrate Chinese New Year.

The Basics of Chinese New Year

Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Learn how Chinese New Year celebrations came about and how they have evolved over time.

  • Origins of Chinese New Year
  • History of Chinese New Year

There's a famous story about a people-eating monster called 'Nian.' The Chinese for New Year, 過年 (guònián) comes from this story.

Important Dates of Chinese New Year

Getty Images/Sally Anscombe

Chinese New Year is held on different dates each year. The dates are based on the lunar calendar. Each year has its own corresponding animal from the Chinese Zodiac, a cycle of 12 animals. Learn how the Chinese zodiac works.

How to Prepare for Chinese New Year

Getty Images/BJI/Blue Jean Images

Most families begin preparing a month or more in advance for Chinese New Year. Here's a guide to what needs to get done before Chinese New Year:

  • Chinese New Year Clothing: Chinese Qipao and the tradition of red underwear
  • Chinese New Year Gift-Giving Etiquette

How to Celebrate Chinese New Year

Getty Images/Daniel Osterkamp

Chinese New Year includes two weeks of celebration with most activities taking place the day before (New Year's Eve), the first day (New Year's Day) and the last day (Lantern Festival). Here's how to celebrate.

  • Superstitions: Things
  • Celebrate New Year's Eve
  • Celebrate New Year's Day
  • Celebrating Days 2-13
  • Celebrate the Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival

Chinese New Year Celebrations in China and Around the World

China Town, San Francisco, USA. Getty Images/WIN-Initiative
  • Chinese New Year: Hong Kong
  • Chinese New Year: Macau
  • Chinese New Year: Shanghai

Chinese New Year Around the World

  • Chinese New Year: New York City
  • Chinese New Year: San Francisco
  • Chinese New Year: Los Angeles
  • Chinese New Year: Washington, DC
  • Chinese New Year: United Kingdom
  • Chinese New Year: Paris



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