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A quick guide to Lunar New Year

If you're eager to join one of the most captivating celebrations worldwide (after all, a third of the globe takes part), but find yourself uncertain about the how, where, and when, we've got you covered.

When to Join the Celebration

Unlike the Gregorian calendar, where December 31st always marks the year's end, the Chinese New Year's date fluctuates. It is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar and typically falls between January 21 and February 20. The festivities span 15 days, from the new moon to the full moon.

Where to Join the Festivities

Approximately one-third of the world's population partakes in Chinese New Year celebrations. This holiday extends its influence to countries like Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Chinese New Year stands as the busiest holiday season globally, with billions of people traveling to reunite with their families.

Which Animal to Pay Tribute To

Each year in the Chinese calendar corresponds to one of the 12 zodiac animals. It is believed that people born in a specific year share traits with that year's zodiac animal. For more information, you can check here.

Preparing for the Celebration

Before New Year's Day, it is customary to clean your home and get a haircut. Cleaning is believed to sweep away bad luck and invite good fortune, while a new haircut may prevent evil spirits from recognizing and following you into the new year.

However, be cautious in your hair-related activities because washing your hair on New Year's Day is believed to wash away good luck. Similarly, activities like having debts, seeking a loan, being near scissors, or crying are considered bad omens.

What to Wear

The color red is considered lucky and is believed to ward off misfortune. Therefore, it's advisable to include plenty of red clothing, even red underwear, in your holiday wardrobe.

What to Say

In Chinese, you can greet others with "Xīnnián kuàilè" (新年快乐), which means "Happy New Year" (pronounced sshin-nyen kwhy-luh).

What to Savor

Since the festivities span 15 days, there are ample opportunities for family gatherings around the dining table. The number eight holds significance in Chinese culture, so many meals consist of eight courses. These courses may include whole fish for good luck, glazed duck for happiness, uncut noodles and long beans for longevity, and tangerines and pomelos for wealth and luck. Sweet rice balls are typically enjoyed on the 15th day of the celebrations, symbolizing togetherness.

If you're looking to attract prosperity, consider indulging in dumplings, which resemble coins and are believed to enhance your financial prospects in the new year.

What to Anticipate Most

The lantern festival, along with dragon and lion dances, marks the conclusion of the festivities and presents stunning spectacles. During these events, dragons and lions dance in parades to ward off evil and bring good luck, wisdom, and longevity. Lanterns of various shapes, sizes, and materials, including those with riddles to solve, illuminate the festivities.

Lastly, elaborate fireworks ensure that any lingering evil spirits are thoroughly scared away.


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