Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Chinese New Year
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year (春节, 农历新年 or 过年), also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, which is usually the day on which the second new moon after the winter solstice occurs. Celebrated internationally, especially in Chinatowns, Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of the Chinese people and much of East Asia by Koreans, Vietnamese and others who also have the same new year.

Around the New Year people greet each other with:

Traditionally, red packets ('hong bao') are passed out on Chinese New Year's Eve, and then Chinese New Year is celebrated with firecrackers. Dragon dances and lion dances take place in some streets and public places throughout the first few days of the Chinese New Year.

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair. The families get together during this holiday. The New Year's Eve dinner is very large and traditionally includes chicken. However, the New Year's Day dinner is typically vegetarian.

The New Year season lasts fifteen days. The first three days are the most important and most often celebrated with visits to friends, family as well as greetings of good luck. The seventh day traditionally is everyone's birthday, the day when everyone grows one year older. The celebrations end on the important and colourful Lantern Festival on the evening of the 15th day of the new moon.

The date is determined by the Chinese calendar, a lunisolar calendar. The same calendar is used in countries that have adopted the Confucian and Buddhism tradition and in many cultures influenced by the Chinese, notably the Koreans, the Tibetans, the Vietnamese and the pagan Bulgars. Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. According to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.

Some Chinese New Year dates (in the Gregorian calendar) are listed below (with pinyin
romanization for the animals):
Animal Dates
Rat - Zi 1996 February 19 2008 February 7
Ox - Chou 1997 February 7 2009 January 26
Tiger - Yin 1998 January 28 2010 February 14
Rabbit - Mao 1999 February 16 2011 February 3
Dragon - Chen 2000 February 5 2012 January 23
Snake - Si 2001 January 24 2013 February 10
Horse - Wu 2002 February 12 2014 January 31
Goat - Wei 2003 February 1 2015 February 19
Monkey - Shen 2004 January 22 2016 February 8
Rooster - You 2005 February 9 2017 January 28
Dog - Xu 2006 January 29 2018 February 16
Pig - Hai 2007 February 18 2019 February 5

See Chinese zodiac for a list of Chinese New Year dates over the last century.

Table of contents
1 Mythology
2 See also
3 External links


In Chinese mythology, several legends are related to the Chinese new year. Examples include:

See also

External links