Chinese New Year Facts

There are many things you need to know about Chinese New Year regardless you are in China or travelling in China or simply celebrating this most important Chinese festival in your home country. We provide you the most complete list as follows:

  • Clean your house from top to bottom and pay off all debts before New Year. However, no cleaning of house on New Year eve and Day, it is believed that if we clean the house good fortune may be swept.
  • Chinese New Year is the longest Chinese Holiday in China mainland.
  • Decorate your home to welcome in the New Year. Red is a popular colour as it scares away evil spirits and bad fortune.
  • During Chinese New Year, when you serve, ensure surplus. Surplus means good wealth.
  • Place mandarins in bowls throughout the house. Mandarins with their leaves still intact are the fruits of happiness for the New Year. Keep their numbers even though, as uneven numbers bring unhappiness.
  • In Chinese New Year, Firecrackers ward of the Mythical beast Nian. However, many cities China has banned fire cracker due to causing fire.
  • Wear new clothes and ensure you are polite to others on the first day of the New Year – it sets the tone for the year to come.
  • The color red is very important in Chinese New Year tradition, as it symbolizes fire and is believed to ward off evil spirits.
  • Celebrate New Year with a family dinner. Traditional dishes include uncut noodles – a symbol of longevity – and fish and chicken, symbols of prosperity.
  • People greet each other by “auspicious phrases” like “gong xi fa cai,” which translates to “Congratulations and be prosperous.” Avoid travel during this time as people are everywhere.
  • Apricot and peach blossom are popular decorations during Vietnamese Tet and symbolise new beginnings.
  • The main difference between the Chinese and Vietnamese lunar calendars is that the Vietnamese replace the Ox, Rabbit and Sheep in the Chinese calendar with the Buffalo, Cat and Goat respectively.
  • Kite flying is a popular New Year tradition in Korea.
  • There is no fixed date for Chinese New Year as it is celebrated in accordance with the lunar calendar. The Lunar calendar is based on the time the moon takes to go around the Earth. The beginning of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February.
  • Enjoy a soup of thinly-sliced rice cakes (duk gook) – a traditional New Year meal in Korea. Because everyone turns a year older with the start of each New Year (and not on their birthday), many people tell their children that they can’t get older unless they’ve eaten some duk gook.
  • Kitchen God is a deity sent from Heaven to each house to take charge of family’s affairs and make a report on what the family has done in the past year.
  • Refrain from uttering words relating to misfortune, such as ‘death’, ‘broken’, ‘killing’, ‘ghost’ and ‘illness’ during New Year as this may bring bad luck for the year to come.
  • Make sure the barrel of rice is full at New Year to ensure prosperity in the year to come.
  • Give younger members of the family red lai-see (‘lucky money’) envelopes to pass on prosperity.