The Chinese New Year, which is also called Spring Festival – chun jie (春节), is the most important holiday for Chinese people. It is celebrated in China and other Asian countries and Chinatowns around the world. The festival begins on the first new moon (solar term) of the Chinese lunar calendar called Start of Spring – li chun (立春). It lasts 15 days and ends on the lunar calendar’s first full moon with the colorful Lantern Festival. The Chinese New Year is celebrated after ten days. In 2021, New Year’s Eve falls on February 12.
Traditionally, to welcome chun jie, people clean their houses thoroughly to remove any bad luck, in a custom called “sweeping of the grounds.” The kids often wear new clothes, and they receive red envelopes with lucky money from their grandparents and other elders. In Chinese culture, red is a symbol of happiness, wealth, and prosperity. It is believed to protect against evil spirits and to bring good luck. Accordingly, many houses are decorated with red couplets, red lanterns, and red paper cuttings around this period. Cities and villages are also decorated and lit up by red lanterns, and many people are dressed in red clothes.
The Chinese New Year’s Eve a common annual occasion to meet the family, enjoy a reunion dinner, and spend time together. Accordingly, Spring Festival has the most extended public holiday in China, and millions of people return home in the world’s largest migration phenomenon called “Spring Festival Travel Rush”. The traditional dishes in this holiday include dumplings (jiaozi), rice cakes, spring rolls, and fish. In modern days, after the reunion dinner, families often sit together to watch the famous CCTV New Year’s Gala.
Finally, the Chinese New Year starts a new animal’s zodiac, and 2021 is the Year of the Ox.
Happy New Year!