The Biggest event in the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year is centuries old and has only gained in its significance because of several myths and customs. As it is tied into the lunar calendar, the date changes each year. Typically, it begins with the new moon that occurs between the end of January and the end of February, and lasts until the full moon arrives with the Festival of Lanterns.
This year, celebrations are to be held from Thursday 11th February (New years Eve) – Friday 26th February (the Lantern Festival).
It was originally a time to honour household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. Whilst this still remains a part of the festivities, it is now tailored more to make the house and home the principal focus. The celebrations are about bringing family together.
- Cleaning houses thoroughly prior to the start of the new year – to clean away “huiqi” (inauspicious breaths) which may have gathered in the old year.
- Decorating houses, streets and buildings with the main colour of the festival – Red. Red is believed to be an auspicious colour.
- Spending time with Family – Usually, wherever people are in the world, they are expected to be home to celebrate the festival with their families for the reunion dinner. This is considered to be the most important meal of the year.
- Firecrackers and fireworks – Typically set off from the first minute of the new year. These are usually large displays and it is estimated that billions of fireworks get let off at 12am on the New Year.
- Gifts and Red Envelopes – the most common New Year gifts are red envelopes that contain money. These are believed to bring good luck, due to the colour. They are usually given to children and retirees.
What are the luckiest things to do
- Give money/gifts in luck numbers and in red packaging
- Eating lucky food like fish on New Years eve
- Lighting lots of red firecrackers and fireworks to scare away evil and welcome good luck
What not to do
- Requiring hospital treatment, crying or breakages are all considered bad omens
- Giving gifts with unlucky meanings, colours, words, or numbers
- Sweeping on New Year’s day – Don’t sweep all your luck away
We wanted to help you celebrate the Chinese New Year at CODE, that’s why we are giving you a goodie bag with:
- A fortune Cookie
- Some gold (chocolate) coins
- Chinese Tea
- Oranges – a symbol of good luck
CODE wishes you Xīnnián hǎo (Happy New Year)