How to Celebrate Chinese New Year (2022) Top 18 Traditions

Chinese New Year is celebrated for sixteen days (from Chinese New Years Eve to the Lantern Festival). The preparations start seven days before Chinese New Years Eve. Many celebration activities for this period are traditional customs, but some are quite new…

Here is a daily guide to tell you how Chinese people celebrate Chinese New Year in 2022.

Some Chinese start to celebrate and prepare for Chinese New Year as early as day 8 of the 12thmonth of the lunar calendar. This is a festival called Laba ( Lb /laa-baa/ 12th lunar month + 8), in the traditional sense, which marks the beginning of the Spring Festival. In 2022, it corresponds to January 10.

The main activity on this day is to pray to ancestors and gods (such as door gods) for fortune and a successful harvest.  The main food include the Laba porridge ( / Lb zhu), Laba tofu ( / b dufu), and noodles ( / Lb min).

The Little Year ( / xio nin) marks the beginning to do preparation for Chinese New Year. From this day, people begin to prepare goods, clean house,  pray to the stove god, etc. It expresses peoples good wishes to bid farewell to the old year and usher in the New Year. Due to different customs around the year, the dates of the Little Year are not the same. It is the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month in northern China and the 24th day of the twelfth lunar month in most parts of southern China.

Beginning on the 24th day of the 12th lunar monthChinese people carry out a thorough winter-cleaning of their houses.

This is called sweeping away the dust, and represents a wish to put away old things, bid farewell to the old year, and welcome in the New Year.

Before Chinese New Years Eve, people buy New Years food and snacks, New Years decorations, and New Years clothes, fireworks, etc. Chinese New Year in China, like Christmas, is a boom time for shopping.

Chinese people may be thrifty most of the time, but they seem to spend generously during their traditional festivals. For example, they buy everyonenew year clothes, whether they need them or not. On the days leading up to the festival, there are many New Years street markets.

Although some people decorate their houses several days before the festival, most people do it on New Years Eve. Houses are decorated withred lanterns, red spring couplets,paper cuttings, and New Years paintings.

Putting up those decorations is thought to keep evil away and pray for blessing, longevity, health, and peace. 2022 is theYear of the Tiger, so ox images will appear on decorations. Read more aboutthe Top 7 Chinese New Year Decorations.

Offering sacrifices to ancestors shows respect and piety. In addition, ancestral spirits are believed to protect their descendants and help them become prosperous.

Many worships on Chinese New Years Eve, before the reunion dinner, to show that they are letting their ancestors eat first. Offerings of meat, wine, joss sticks, and joss paper are placed in front of the shrine/grave.

The New Years Evereunion dinneris a must-do dinner with all family members reuniting. Chinese try very hard to make this family event, often traveling long distances. This is the main reason for the huge travel stress throughout China.

Big families including several generations sit at round tables and enjoy the food and time together.

Dishes with lucky meanings must be included in the dinner such as fish, dumplings,Nian Gao(sticky rice cake), and spring rolls.Many New Year foods are symbolic.

Its become customary for many families to watch the CCTV New Year Gala while having their dinner. The Gala starts at 8 pm and ends when the Chinese New Year arrives at midnight.

It features traditional, folk, and pop performances from Chinas best singers, dancers, and acrobats.

Parents usually give their childrenred envelopesafter the reunion dinner, wishing them health, growth, and good studies in the coming year.

Money in red envelopes is believed to bring good luck, as red is Chinas lucky color, so its called lucky money.

This custom is calledshousui(/show-sway/to keep watch over the year). In the past, Chinese people used to stay up all night, but now most stay up only until midnight firecrackers and fireworks die down.

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Chinese New Years Day (Feb. 1, 2022)

Chinese people believe that what they do on the first day of the lunar year will affect their luck during that year.

The moment New Year arrives there is a cacophony of fireworks and firecrackers all around, even in rural China. Families stay up for this joyful moment.

In many rural areas, its customary to set off firecrackers before dinner, each day from New Years Eve to day 3 of CNY. SeeWhy Chinese New Year Must Have Firecrackers.

Its believed that the louder the firecrackers, the better and luckier it will be for business and farming in the coming year.

Kids, with (mini) firecrackers in one hand and a lighter in another, cheerfully celebrate by throwing the small explosives one-by-one on the street whilst plugging their ears.

On the first day of New Year, Chinese people put on new clothes, and say gongxi (/gong-sshee/literally respectful joy, meaning greetings or best wishes), wishing each other good luck and happiness in the New Year.

It is customary for the younger generation to visit their elders, and wish them health and longevity. SeeTop 10 Popular Chinese New Year Greetings and Sayings.

In recent years, a new way to do New Year greetings has appeared, especially among the young. People who are too busy to visit their friends or relatives send a New Years card, a WeChat red envelope, or a text message instead.

Lion dancesanddragon dancesare also seen on New Years Day. Once very popular in China, they are reappearing in many places. They are more popular in Hong Kong and Macau.

Beijings temple fairsare the places to go for traditional activities in Beijing. Such activities are held in parks from the first day of the lunar year to the last (when celebrating the Lantern Festival).

Generally, parks and temples are the best places to go for festive celebrations at Chinese New Year.

Traditionally married daughters visit their parents home on the second day of Chinese New Year. They bring gifts and red envelopes to families and relatives.

On this day, people offer sacrifices to the God of Wealth, wishing for a luckier and more prosperous year.

The Top 10 Chinese New Year Activities

Red Envelopes/Packets (Hongbao) – Amount, Symbols and How to Give

Chinese New Year Gift Giving Etiquette

The Things You Should Know about Vietnamese New Year

Guangzhous 2021 Spring Festival Flower Fair

New Year: Days 37 (Feb. 37, 2022)

From the third to the seventh day of New Year, Chinese peoplevisit relatives and friends.

On the third day, some people go tovisit the tombsof their relatives, but others think being outside there on the third day is inauspicious, because evil spirits roam around.

The first house-sweep of the New Year:Chinese people dont clean their homes during the first two days of New Year, as sweeping then is believed to sweep away the good luck accrued by the litter of firecrackers, red paper, wrappers, and other evidence of celebration on the floor.

People normallyreturn to workon the eighth day. As eight is the luckiest number in China, most businesses like to reopen on day 8 of the New Year.

The fifteenth day of the New Year isthe Lantern Festival( Yunxio Ji /ywen-sshyaou jyeah/). It is the traditional end of Spring Festival celebrations.

Some people send glowing lanterns into the sky, while others release floating lanterns onto the sea, onto rivers, or adrift in lakes.

Traditions and celebrations vary greatly across China. In the north, Chinese dumplings are the must-eat food on Chinese New Years Eve, but south of the Yangtze River most people eat spring rolls or sticky rice cake. For more on this, readHow Chinese New Year Is Celebrated in Northern and Southern China.

Chinese New Year is not only celebrated in China, but also in several other East Asian countries (among non-Chinese Asians its known as Spring Festival) as well as Chinatowns in Western countries.

For the numbers of people celebrating around the world seeChinese New Year Facts.

You can experience Chinese New Year celebrations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, etc. You can walk through their Chinatowns and see the restaurants and shopfronts adorned in red and gold, and experience firecrackers, colorful parades, and dragon dances.

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