Of all the Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year is for kids of all ages
the most loved and anticipated.
In China, planes, trains, buses, boats, donkeys, and any means of transportation
you can imagine, are jammed packed with people returning home to enjoy the celebrations
with their friends and family.
And all over the world, wherever there is a Chinatown or a large Asian community, the festivities are a colorful display of dragon dances, lantern festivals, feasts, and of course firecrackers!
The History of Chinese New Year
This traditional fest has been celebrated for more than four thousand years.
It came about from ancient celebrations to mark the end of the long winter season and the beginning of
It celebrates the earth coming back to life and the beginning of the growing cycle.
This is why it is also called the Spring Festival.
For Chinese people all over, the Lunar New Year is the celebration of the year, a time for happy reunions, family and friends,
rich in colorful traditions and customs.
When is Chinese New Year?
In western countries, New Year's Day always falls on January 1st. In China, New Year's Day is also the first day of the first month of the Lunar Calendar! Therefore,
Chinese New Year dates vary each year and could fall at the end of January or in February.
Chinese New Year 2019 was on February 5, 2019
Chinese New Year 2020 will be on January 25, 2020
The New Year celebrations begin on New Year's Eve, the big party is on New Year's Day, and the action continues for the next 15 days.
It all ends with the first full moon of the year, fifteen days later with the Lantern Festival, another great carnival and the perfect ending to this great holiday season.
As per long-standing Chinese customs, each year is assigned an animal according to the Chinese Zodiac.
Click here to learn more about the Chinese Zodiac and the animal that corresponds to the year you were born.
The Traditions and Celebrations...
There are many Chinese traditions associated with the New Year celebrations, here are a few of the most popular ones:
This is the most important of holidays for Chinese, preparations start a
couple of weeks before the big day: House-cleaning, putting away knives, paying respects to the ancestors, preparing the feast, making decorations...
So many superstitions and traditions to get ready for the new year! Read more...
At home, kids anxiously await the coming of the new year. This is a time for family gatherings and the biggest feast of the year. Kids look forward to their lucky red envelopes and setting off firecrackers. And there are of course the "lucky foods" for the
New Year's banquet. Read more...
No Christmas Tree like we have in the West, but instead, Chinese decorate the house with mandarin trees for good luck, which by the way, also make good presents if you are visiting someone. Instead of Santa Claus and presents, Chinese children get the lucky and shiny Red Envelopes which contain money. Read more...
And around town, businesses decorate their shops, offices and restaurants. Red and gold garlands and lanterns line the streets,
lucky mandarin trees and plum blossoms are set about for good fortune and is overall a very festive atmosphere everywhere you go.
The celebrations are ongoing, for the next fifteen days, and the
noisier, louder and roaring, the better! Here's what to watch out for:
The Dragon Dance Parade brings good luck and prosperity for the coming year and is an essential ingredient of any Chinese celebration, specially the Lunar New Year. The Dragon Dances begin on New Year's Day, and continue throughout the festivities for the next fifteen days. A cloth dragon is held on poles by a team of a dozen or more members who make the dragon "dance" by raising and lowering the poles. Read more...
The Chinese Lion Dance is often mixed up with the Chinese Dragon Dance. The Dragon Dance is performed by a team of ten or more dancers, whereas the Lion Dance team consists of only two. The Lion Dancers perform to the sound of drums for the first three to five days of the New Year. They dance in front of stores and businesses to scare off the evil spirits and to bring good luck to everyone. Read more...
Lavish Fireworks Displays are a staple of a Chinese New Year celebration. Many cities accross China will put on their best, after all, this is the country that invented them. If you happen to be in China during this time, or in any big city with a large Chinese population, don't miss them! Here's an example of one of the most lavish displays which takes place in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. Read more...
So let's get a head start with those preparations! These links will take you to some of our most popular pages to get ready for the celebrations:
Red balloon lanterns decorate every corner of the city during this
marvelous time. We teach you how to make your own so you can hang or place anywhere to brighten up a few little corners. Learn how to make...
Some more crafts and activities for the New Year, make your own red envelopes, learn how
to write Chinese New Year greetings, make a paper fan, firecrackers, and many more shapes of lanterns. Learn how to make...
This gorgeous paper dragon, in bright red and gold, the lucky Chinese colors to
bring a touch of good fortune and wealth to your home! Learn how to make...
What are some common Chinese New Year Greetings? How do you wish someone a Happy New Year in Chinese? Here are some of the most common phrases and sayings during this most important of holidays. Read more...
What are the typical ornaments for the Spring Festival? Instead of shiny
red Christmas balls we have shiny red lanterns... orange and mandarin trees replace the Christmas tree... Holly leaves and red berries? Try plum blossoms instead! Read more...
What is this year's Chinese New Year Animal? What do these animals represent? There are twelve Chinese New Year Animals according to the Chinese Zodiac, each with its own
characteristics. Read more...
This is a great time if you happen to be in China. Just beware
that traveling during and around these times is very difficult and planning ahead is essential.
Send a FREE Chinese New Year e-Card!
It's easy and it's free! Choose from more than 60 great designs, customize and personalize your greeting.
Chinese New Year Around The World
Chinese and Asian communities all around the world get together and celebrate the most important of festivals. The parades, the fairs, the lion dances, the fireworks displays... These places all around the world really go all out to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Here's what, when and where is happening this year. If you have a chance to visit any of these cities you really are in for a smashing event!
Chinese New Year Celebrations Around The World
Chinese New Year Books For Children
You can learn more about how this festivity is celebrated in China and around the world, the different customs and traditions with
these short stories and easy to read books, here's a selection, look them up at your local library!
China Books for Children - Festivals and Chinese New Year.
More Chinese New Year Traditions and Celebrations
Most Popular Excursions