Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the lunar calendar, a 15 day celebration filled with tradition, fun and reflection.
How can I say Happy New Year?
sun nin fai lok / xīn nián kuài lè (Cantonese / Mandarin)
“Happy New Year”
gong hei fat choy / gōngxǐ fācái (Cantonese /Mandarin)
“Wishing you prosperity and good fortune”
A 12 Year Cycle
2022 is the Year of the Tiger! There are 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, each represented by an animal and repeating on a 12-year cycle. Every sign has personality traits, romantic compatibility and fortune that go with it. Find out your Zodiac sign here!
Traditional Chinese lantern with dragon design
There are special traditions that are observed during Chinese New Year (or the Lunar/Spring Festival), including:
- Red - used within rhyming couplets, lanterns and other decorations, representing good fortune and happiness. Red envelopes that contain money are given to bless the recipient with a peaceful new year. If the year is your birth zodiac sign, then it’s tradition to wear one red item of clothing every single day for the entire year, shielding yourself from bad luck.
- Family - lots of people will travel home from big cities to rural villages across China and beyond (known as “The Great Migration”).
- New Year’s Eve Dinner - the highlight of the reunion. Many families will eat foods said to have symbolic meanings: dumplings represent longevity and wealth, mandarins for riches in your life and rice balls represent family reunions and happiness (traditions differ regionally, with many Southern Chinese people opting for spring rolls rather than dumplings, for example. Yum!).
- Gifts - it’s customary to treat yourself and your loved ones to a brand new outfit and accessories!
- Spring Clean - clean your house from top to bottom to prepare for the new year ahead with a fresh home, sweeping away all the bad that has happened in the year prior and starting again with a clean slate.
However you are celebrating, remember that Chinese New Year is a tradition rooted in hope, new beginnings and family connections.