A Day-by-Day Guide to Celebrating Chinese New Year: Traditions and Activities for the 15-Day Festival
On The Days Leading To Chinese New Year
Cleaning: Families will clean their houses to get rid of any bad luck from the old year and make room for good luck in the new year.
Shopping: People will go shopping to buy food and decorations for the new year celebrations.
Preparing food: Families will start preparing food and snacks for the new year, like sticky sweet rice cakes, savoury turnip cakes, melon seeds, and other kinds of fried and baked treats.
Hanging decorations: People will put up red lanterns and banners with Chinese characters that say “Happy New Year” all around their homes.
On Chinese New Year’s Eve
Families gather for a big feast. In Southern Chinese culture like Hong Kong, these feasts usually include fish, different kinds of expensive seafood, and various other dishes that sound lucky, like black moss for ‘fat choy’ (髮菜). In Northern Chinese culture, dumplings are very typical!
Red pockets filled with money are also given to children as a symbol of good luck. Tradition tells us to put the red pockets under your pillow that night to bring good luck for the new year ahead.
On Chinese New Year Day 1
Traditionally, you would to set off fire crackers on the first day of Chinese New Year. But setting off fire crackers isn’t really allowed in many places nowadays, so you might end up going to see a lion dance and drum performances on the streets or in local malls.
People visit relatives and friends to wish them a happy new year. It is also traditional to wear new clothes and give red pockets to unmarried adults.
On Chinese New Year Day 2
On Chinese New Year Day 3
On Chinese New Year Day 4
On Chinese New Year Day 5
Those who believe in Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism will go to the temple to pray for good luck in the new year.
On Chinese New Year Day 6
It is traditional to give red pockets filled with money to children and unmarried adults. This day is also known as “Little New Year”.
On Chinese New Year Day 7
To mark the finish of the 7 days of Chinese New Year, families will get together for a final feast to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one.
On Chinese New Year Day 8-15
This is a general guide, customs and traditions may vary depending on the region and family traditions. Happy Chinese New Year!