Chinese Spring Festival(春节) or Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year is the most important festival in China. There are lots of traditions, celebrations, and superstitions associated with the festival.It is the most distinctive Chinese traditional festival. It has a history of over 4000 years,The Spring Festival, the Duanwu Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival are three major traditional festivals of China. It is generally the first day of the first lunar month of the year. Traditionally, celebrations last for fifteen days, ending on the date of the full moon.
Dates of Spring Festival Holiday 2023 in China
2023 Jan 21 ~Jan 27
Lunar New Year 2023 Animal,The year of Rabbit
There are 12 Chinese zodiac animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each year is associated with an animal with its attributes.
|Year||Date||Day of the Week||Holiday Duration (Mainland China)||Chinese Zodiac Animal|
|2021||February 12||Friday||February 11 – 17||Ox|
|2022||February 1||Tuesday||January 31 – February 06||Tiger|
|2023||January 22||Sunday||January 21 – 27||Rabbit|
|2024||February 10||Saturday||February 9 – 15||Dragon|
|2025||January 29||Wednesday||January 28 – February 03||Snake|
Chinese New Year is a time to:
1. Decorating the houses with red color
Red is the luckiest color in Chinese culture. Popular decorations include lanterns, Chinese knots (中国结), 福 characters, Spring Festival couplets (春联), and paper cuts.The red color is believed to drive away evil spirits and bring good luck. So when the festival is coming, Chinese people hang red lanterns in front of their house and paste red couplets on their doors.Chinese people usually use Chun Lian to express their good wishes. During the Spring Festival, every household will choose a couplet to affix to the door of the house to add to the festival atmosphere.
The Chinese New Year is a shopping boom when you can see that almost all the shopping malls are having big sales and launch the New Year collection to attract the consumers. The Chinese people spend a lot of money mainly to buy two things. One is the New Year clothes for themselves or the family members. The other is the food stored for the New Year which is called 年货nián huò including the meat, vegetables, fruits, snacks, candies to consume during the festival when most shops are closed.
3Watching New Year’s Gala
The CCTV New Year’s Gala is enjoyed at get-togethers on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year throughout the country. It has been the country’s most-watched variety show since its first launch in 1983. Today, watching the show has become a traditional activity for many Chinese families. The gala gathers the top performers in the country and features music, dance, comedy, and drama performances.
4. Eating lucky food
In addition, Chinese people will also eat some special food to celebrate the Spring Festival.It is believed that eating lucky food will bring prosperity for the next year. On New Year’s eve, dishes such as fish, chicken, Chinese dumplings,tangyuan,Niangao (Chinese New Year Cake) etc are served at every Chinese family’s dinner.
5. Giving red envelopes
Red envelopes/red packets (红包 hóngbāo) are usually given to the children. People believe that giving red envelopes to kids can keep the children safe and bring them good luck.Now people will Sending greetings through WeChat,As the instant messaging becomes more and more popular, people prefer to send greeting messages through WeChat rather than calling. Many people copy and paste the wishes as a routine and send it as a group text at one time, which may show a lack of sincerity to some people but it’s quite common now.
6. Setting Off Fireworks
Fireworks are set off as the New Year arrives. It is believed the loud fireworks can drive the evil spirits away and bring good luck to the family. Although many cities have banned fireworks, this tradition keeps in the countryside.
How to Say Happy Chinese New Year 2023?
The Chinese New Year 2023 is coming. How to wish your friends a happy new year in Chinese? Here are the three most popular ways to say “Happy Chinese New Year” in Chinese and Cantonese.
|English||Chinese Characters||In Mandarin||In Cantonese|
|Happy New Year!||新年快乐！||/sshin nyen kwhy ler/ (xīn nián kuài lè)||/sen nin feye lor/ (san1 nin4 faai3 lok6)|
|新年好！||/sshin nyen haoww/ (xīn nián hǎo)||/sen nin haow/ (san1 nin4 hou2)|
|过年好！||/gwor nyen haoww/ (guò nián hǎo)||/gwor nin haow/ (gwo3 nin4 hou2)|
|春节快乐||Chūnjié kuàilè||Happy Spring Festival!|
|过年好||Guònián hǎo||Happy New Year!|
|贴春联||tiē chūnlián||to hang Spring Festival couplets|
|团圆饭||tuányuán fàn||family dinner for Spring Festival|
|守岁||shǒusuì||stay up late to welcome the new year|
|发红包||fà hóngbāo||to give a red packet|
|拜年||bàinián||to pay someone a visit to wish them happy New Year|
|恭喜发财||gōngxǐ fācái||Wishing you prosperity in the new year!|
|年年有余||nián nián yǒuyú||May you have abundance every year!|
|万事如意||wànshì rúyì||Wishing you all the best!|
THE HISTORY OF THE SPRING FESTIVAL
As the story goes, there was once a monster named Nian that terrorized a village every year on New Year’s Eve. Tired of being eaten and having their houses burned to the ground, the villagers decided to fight back.
They hung red banners all around the village and when Nian approached, the villagers banged drums and cymbals, and set off firecrackers. Afraid of the bright colors and loud noise, Nian fled and never disturbed the villagers again. This is why firecrackers and the color red are so crucial to the Spring Festival celebrations in China.
The ancient history of the Spring Festival
Chinese Lunar New Year is known as Spring Festival. It is China’s most ceremonious traditional festival, but also a symbol of unity and prosperity of the future at the same time as the festival has placed new hope for people. According to records, the Chinese New Year has a history of more than 4,000 years. Chinese New Year in different times have different names.
In Qin Dynasty, the Spring Festival was called “Shang Ri”, “Yuan Ri”, “Xian Sui”, “Gai Sui” and so on. In the period of two Han dynasties, it was called “San Zhao”, “Sui Dan”, “Zheng Dan” and “Zheng Ri”. In Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties, it was called “Yuan Chen”, “Yuan Ri”, “Yuan Shou” and “Sui Zhao”. During the time of Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasty, it was called “Yuan Dan”, “Xin Zheng”, “Xin Yuan” and so on. In Qing Dynasty, it was called “Yuan Dan” and “Yuan Ri”.
There is a variety of claims about the origin of Chinese New Year, but the public generally accepted theory is that it began in Yao and Shun period while Emperor Yao and Shun led people to worship heaven and earth. Since then, people took that day as the beginning of the year. This is the origin of the Lunar New Year, later called the Spring Festival.
The modern history of the Spring Festival
In Republic of Northern Government, Yuan Shikai defined the New Year’s Day as the first day of January in Western calendar while the Spring Festival is defined as the first day of the first lunar month. Chinese Nationalist Party had tried to abolish the Spring Festival, but not accepted by the Chinese people.
On September 27, 1949, Chinese People Consultative Conference first plenary session decided to establish a People’s Republic of China and at the same time, using the world-wide Christian era. To distinguish between the two solar and lunar “year”, because a year 24 solar terms “spring” just before and after the Lunar New Year, so the Gregorian calendar January called “New Year’s Day” and the lunar calendar officially renamed the “Spring Festival”.
Chinese New Year celebrations are not limited just to mainland China and those countries who observe it as a public holiday. Across the world, the Chinese diaspora from Southeast Asia’s centuries-old Chinese communities to the more recent Chinatowns such as Sydney, London, San Francisco, Vancouver, Los Angeles will mark Chinese New Year, with parades and lion dances attracting large crowds.
Iconic landmarks around the world such as the Tokyo Tower and the London Eye will turn red to mark the new year.
In China, the rules governing what days are taken for Chinese New Year as public holidays changed in late 2013. From 2014, the festival will be a holiday on the first three days of the first lunar month of each year. Since 2008, the three-day holiday had started on the last day of the lunar year.
At the end, eChineseBridge.com wish you a happy Spring Festival!