When is Chinese New Year?
Friday, February 12th, 2021
Chinese New Year 2021 falls on Friday, February 12th, 2021, and celebrations culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 26th, 2021. The Lantern Festival began over 2000 years ago, the festival has developed many meanings. It celebrates family reunions and society. It features ancient spiritual traditions. Some also call this the “true” Chinese Valentine’s Day.
How long is Chinese New Year?
Celebrations last up to 16 days, but only the first 7 days are considered a public holiday (February 11th–17th, 2021).
What is the 2021 Chinese zodiac?
Year of the Ox
Chinese New Year marks the transition between zodiac signs: 2021 is the year of the Ox; 2020 the year of the Rat. The Ox is the second of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Ox was about to be the first to arrive, but Rat tricked Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox. Thus, Ox became the second animal.
Here is some more fun facts about Chinese New Year...
Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival
In China, you’ll hear it being called chunjie (春节), or the Spring Festival. It’s still very wintry, but the holiday marks the end of the coldest days. People welcome spring and what it brings along: planting and harvests, new beginnings and fresh starts.
The most fireworks are set off in the world that night
As in the myth about Nian, firecrackers are supposed to scare off monsters and bad luck. So people stay up on Chinese New Year’s Eve and set off firecrackers at midnight. In the morning, firecrackers are used again to welcome the new year and good luck.
Children receive lucky money in red envelopes
In other cultures, children receive gifts for holidays. Gifts are also exchanged during the Spring Festival. But Chinese children receive something else too—red envelopes.
The Chinese decorate everything red for Chinese New Year
Every family will deck their homes in this color. Do you remember the story about Nian? Firecrackers aren’t the only thing that scared the monster away. Red is also an invaluable weapon, and used in nearly all Chinese New Year decorations.
Every year has a zodiac animal
Western horoscopes include 12 zodiacs, one for each month. There are 12 Chinese zodiacs as well, but the animal is for the entire year.
Thank you for spending time learning about how different cultures celebrate holidays. Happy New Year!