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Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. In Chinese, the festival is commonly referred to as the Spring Festival (traditional Chinese: 春節; simplified Chinese: 春节; pinyin: Chūnjié) as the spring season in the lunisolar calendar traditionally starts with lichun, the first of the twenty-four solar terms which the festival celebrates around the time of the Chinese New Year. Marking the end of winter and the beginning of the spring season, observances traditionally take place from Chinese New Year's Eve, the evening preceding the first day of the year, to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February.

Top Chinese New Year Activities

Chinese New Year is the most important festival for Chinese, and the most widely celebrated holiday in the world. With great passion, people observe this annual event with diverse activities, some of which are thousand-year-old traditions. Get the top 10 picks of the most popular Chinese New Year activities now.

Having a Reunion Dinner

A reunion dinner must be the most important and significant event for all Chinese. This is a gathering of all family members; no matter how far the distance to travel may be. Everyone tries their best to go back home to reunite with their family. Generally, all the dishes are homemade, and maybe the most abundant of the year. In addition, fish must be on the table, because the pronunciation of fish, yu, means ‘surplus’, in both home supply and wealth.


Eating Dumplings

Eating dumplings is an essential part of Chinese New Year activity. Dumplings, representing reunion, harmony and wealth in Chinese culture, are made with minced meat and vegetables wrapped in a round and elastic dumpling skin in the shape of Chinese silver ingot. Generally, almost each family member helps to make dumplings together and talk with each other at the same time. Minced pork, fish, diced shrimp, tofu and vegetables are most popular stuffing.

Setting off Firecrackers

As for the most popular Chinese New Year activities, setting off firecrackers is essential. Under normal conditions, Chinese stay up late till midnight and set off firecrackers to mark the New Year’s arrival and to scare away evil spirits. This is also to welcome the New Year. For safety reasons and environmental protection, large cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, forbid individuals setting off firecrackers. Public fireworks shows are the vogue, especially the Hong Kong CNY fireworks show at Victoria Harbour..

Sending Blessing Messages

During the festival, Chinese like to send blessing messages to their relatives, friends, and colleagues through Web chat. People start to send blessing messages at 0:00 for expressing best wishes of the coming year. Besides, Chinese are likely to send voice massages, emoji package and videos through Web chat.


Visiting Relatives

Starting from the second day of the Chinese New Year, people visit their relatives and friends to exchange best wishes with each other. According to traditional customs, married couples visit the wife’s parents on the second day of the New Year. When people visit relatives and friends, it’s polite to take gifts, such as local products and wines. In addition, newly-married couples and little kids could receive red envelopes from their elders.

Sweeping the House

From Dec. 23 in lunar calendar to Chinese New Year Eve, people carry out a complete sweeping of the house. People sweep the floor, furniture, and walls and throw away something old, which means to sweep away bad luck and welcome New Year. However, on the first day of the Lunar New Year, sweeping houses is never recommended because it means sweep away good luck and wealth of the New Year.


These appetizers can be served just prior to dinner, for lunch, or really anytime during the two-week-long Chinese New Year festivities, between New Year’s Eve and the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the celebration.

Chinese Spring Rolls - The Woks of Life
Download PDF • 214KB

Chicken Dumplings with Shiitake Mushrooms - The Woks of Life
Download PDF • 219KB

Steamed Money Bag Dumplings - The Woks of Life
Download PDF • 212KB

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Cheers, and have a great day!

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