Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is a holiday that celebrates the beginning of a new lunar year on the traditional Chinese calendar. It is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture and is celebrated by people of Chinese descent all over the world. The date of Lunar New Year varies depending on the lunar calendar and usually falls between January 21st and February 20th.

The celebrations for Lunar New Year typically last for 15 days, with the most important days being New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. During this time, families come together to celebrate and honor their ancestors. It is a time for forgiveness and to mend relationships, and for many, it is a time to return home to be with their loved ones.


Lunar New Year Customs and Traditions

A family at a Lunar New Year party with traditional clothes

One of the most notable customs during Lunar New Year is the tradition of giving red envelopes filled with money to children and unmarried adults. The red color symbolizes good luck and prosperity, and the money inside is said to bring good fortune for the coming year. Additionally, people often clean their homes before the New Year, which is believed to sweep away bad luck and make room for good luck to enter.

Another important aspect of Lunar New Year celebrations is the decoration of homes with various symbols of good luck and prosperity. These decorations include red lanterns, couplets (red banners with Chinese characters), and paper cutouts of zodiac animals. Red is considered to be a lucky color and is prominently featured in Lunar New Year decorations. The red lanterns and couplets are often hung outside of homes and in public spaces to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

Food is an important part of Lunar New Year celebrations, with traditional dishes such as dumplings, fish, and niangao (a sweet glutinous rice cake) being served. These foods are believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year. For example, fish is often served because the Chinese word for fish (yu) sounds similar to the word for abundance (yu).


Lion dance at a Chinese New Year celebration


Additionally, many people will also participate in cultural activities such as lion and dragon dances, fireworks, and parades. These events are believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. The lion and dragon dances are performed by teams of dancers who wear elaborate costumes and masks. The dances are accompanied by drumming and gongs and are believed to scare away bad luck and bring good luck and prosperity.

Lunar New Year is also a time for gift-giving. Family members, friends and colleagues will exchange gifts, usually red envelopes filled with money or small gifts. Many people also give gifts of fruit and sweets to their loved ones and friends as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.


In conclusion, Lunar New Year is a time to celebrate the start of a new lunar year and honor one’s ancestors. It is a time to connect with loved ones and participate in customs and traditions that are steeped in meaning and significance. From the decorations, to the food, to the cultural activities, every aspect of Lunar New Year is filled with symbolism and tradition that has been passed down through generations. It is a time to welcome in the new year with positivity and good luck, and to celebrate with family and friends.

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