Chinese New Year: What You Need to Know

Lunar Libration with Phase. (Image: By Tomruen (Lunar_libration_with_phase_Oct_2007.gif) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Unlike the New Year celebration’s date most of us in North or South America, Europe, or Australia are used to, Chinese New Year is never on the same date.

There are many holidays we celebrate each year in every culture. Each religion, each culture celebrates in its own unique way and its own unique traditions. Still, there is a reverence towards certain times of the year which are common to all nations of this world.

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One event we all seem to have in common is the “New Year” celebration.

Chinese New Year celebration

In a nutshell: Chinese New Year, or as it’s also known, the Spring Festival, is basically what is formally referred to as the end of an old and the beginning of a new moon cycle.

But there’s more! Unlike the New Year in the West, commonly celebrated between December 31 and January 1, Chinese New Year never takes place on the same date. In 2018, Chinese New Year falls on February 16. And Chinese New Year is on the February 5 in 2019.

In China, the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) starts on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. The festivities last for about 23 days, ending on the 15th day of the first lunar month in the following year in the Chinese calendar.

How is Chinese New Year celebrated?

In three words: Light, sound, and family. Traditionally, Chinese families gather for a reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. Kids are given “red envelopes” with “lucky money” and inspiring wishes for the New Year.

Some teens even have apps where they can receive “red envelopes” digitally.

This way, their relatives can transfer cash digitally.

Which animal represents 2018?

The year 2018 marks the Year of the Dog. So, in layman’s terms, to whom does the year of the dog relate to? Those born in 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018 are referred to as dogs, according to the Chinese zodiac.

Chinese New Year 2018 marks the Year of the Dog.
The year 2018 marks the Year of the Dog. (Image: via Falco/ pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Want to know your Chinese zodiac animal?

Calculate your Chinese zodiac sign here.

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