For Chinese people, years begin at Chinese New Year, rather than January 1!
Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is China's most important festival. It is also the most important celebration for families and a week of an official public holiday.
Chinese New Year 2020 falls on Saturday, January 25, 2020, beginning a year of the Rat. China's public holiday will be January 24–30, 2020.
The date of the Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar: the holiday falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice on December 21. Thus, each time the New Year in China falls on different dates of the usual Gregorian calendar, between January 21 and February 20.
The festival has a history of over 3,000 years. Celebrations on lunar New Year's Day can be dated back to the ancient worship of heaven and earth. Over the centuries new traditions were added and celebrations became more entertainment-orientated.
The main Chinese New Year activities include 1) putting up decorations, 2) eating reunion dinner with family on New Year's Eve, 3) firecrackers and fireworks, and 4) giving red envelopes and other gifts.
In many Chinese cities, from New Year's Day, traditional performances can be seen: dragon dances, lion dances, and imperial performances like an emperor's wedding. A great variety of traditional Chinese products are on offer, and rarely seen Chinese snacks. City parks and temple fairs are the places to go for this.
The Luckiest Things to Do at Chinese New Year
· Giving money/gifts in lucky numbers and lucky red packaging with lucky greetings.
· Eating lucky food like fish on New Year's Eve, especially carp or catfish with some left over for New Year's Day.
· Lighting lots of red firecrackers and fireworks to scare away evil and bring good luck.
The Unlucky Things to Do at Chinese New Year
· Having an accident, especially if it means hospital visits, crying, and breakages: all bad omens.
· Giving gifts with unlucky meanings, colors, words, or numbers, or even saying something inauspicious.
· Sweeping up on New Year's Day: don't "sweep all your luck away".
Chinese New Year Greetings
One of the most famous traditional greetings for Chinese New Year is the Cantonese kung hei fat choi, literally ‘greetings, become rich’. In Mandarin that’s gongxi facai /gong-sshee faa-tseye/.