The coming Chinese New Year is Saturday, 28 January 2017 (year of rooster), the one after is Friday, 16 February 2018 (year of dog). Read more about the Chinese New Year dates.
Traditional Chinese New Year know as CNY, also called Lunar New Year or Sprint Festival because celebrations begin on the first new moon of the northern hemisphere spring, is celebrated by cultures all over the world. Festivities last until the full moon rises 15 days later. Even there is no formal record of the origin of Chinese New Year history, but it can go back thousands years ago.
Each Chinese New Year has an animal sign to represent the year. In total there are 12 zodiac animal signs, namely mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. They run in a 12 year cycle.
It is not just China celebrates but also other countries and regions. Chinese New Year is a public holiday in China Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Philippines. Even it is not an official holiday; many other countries like Australia , Canada, France, New Zeeland and America celebrate Chinese New Year as well due to large Chinese population in those countries. For example, according to this website, 4.3% of the population in Australia are Chinese. In oversea, they all have their own ways to celebrate Chinese New Year. Common activities are lion dance, dragon dance, parade and food festivals.
Popular activities during Chinese New Year include visiting relatives and friends, receiving lucky money or red envelope from parents and married people. Kids love Chinese New Year because they got more money to spend. Gift exchange is also very common. Each day during Chinese New Year have special activity, find out more activities here.
There are many Chinese New Year traditions like do a thorough cleaning to sweep away the bad luck of the preceding year to be ready for good luck, putting up couplets at the front of the house. Going to template to pray for the good year is very common. Read more about Chinese New Year traditions.
There are many banquets will be served during Chinese New Year. The family reunion dinner is just as important as Christmas dinner. Indispensable dishes include fish, dumpling, rice ball, New Year cake and more.
You will see a lot of Chinese New Year crafts inside and outside of the house. These include: red diamond-shaped poster, Upside Down Fu, Yuanbao ingots, New Year pictures, Chinese knots, paper cuttings, Dui Lian, Door God posters. They come from superstitious beliefs and traditional cultural beliefs. Traditional Chinese New Year songs will keep playing in the house to maximise the festival atmosphere.