07 March 2021 (updated)

Chinese New Year: How to Celebrate Spring Festival

The Lunar New Year is right around the corner, and it’s the Year of the Ox! From old customs to new traditions, there are many ways to celebrate Chinese New Year.

New Year’s might be a common way to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. But, when it comes to Chinese New Year, it’s all about the traditional Chinese calendar. Often known as the Spring Festival, the first new moon of the year coincides with the Chinese New Year 2021 celebration. This festival may be especially important in China and Hong Kong, but it’s celebrated all over the world. Places as diverse as Singapore, Indonesia, and North America take part in this holiday’s festivities!

When Is Chinese New Year 2021 Celebrated?

The Spring Festival 2021 begins on Friday, February 12th at the start of the lunar year. The holiday stretches from the eve of the new year to the sixth day of the first lunar month. Since the dates of the lunar calendar don't line up with the Gregorian calendar, people celebrate the festival on different dates each year. The lunar calendar is also associated with 12 animal signs that are cycled through. The animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Be sure to share your birth year’s animal on your favorite family app!

What Is the Chinese New Year Animal for 2021?

Much like the familiar traditions of New Year’s, there is the belief that a new year brings new tidings. Chinese New Year 2021 is the Year of the Ox, and this particular animal of the zodiac has many characteristics. The ox is the second of the zodiac, and associated with qualities including patience, diligence, honesty, and dependability. As the lunar calendar goes in cycles, rat years occur every 12 years making 1985, 1997 and 2009 the most recent ones.

What Do You Do for Chinese New Year 2021?

There are a variety of Chinese New Year holiday traditions. Whether they happen before the new moon or as a way to celebrate it, they're all part of the fun of the festival. Share your favorite ideas on FamilyApp!  

  • Pay Off Your Debts – It's important to pay off all your debts before the start of the new year. As well, one should not lend money on New Year’s Day as it can mean one may be lending all year. During the Spring Festival, older married people traditionally give red envelopes filled with money to children and unmarried, so perhaps that could help.
  • Avoid Negativity – Chinese New Year 2020 can set a precedent for the year to come. This means that people should avoid swearing, unlucky words, and the subject of death. It’s also good to avoid crying as this can mean a sorrowful year.
  • Open Doors and Windows – At midnight, open all of a house’s doors and windows to let the old year out. Setting off firecrackers can also be a way of letting go of the old year. Share your own ideas for letting in the coming year on your favorite family app!

More Chinese New Year's Traditions

  • The Lion Dance – The lion dance is another popular tradition that symbolizes peace and harmony. As one of the most familiar of Chinese customs, people perform the lion dance all over the world. 
  • The Lantern Festival – This festival is one of the most popular Chinese New Year 2021 activities and marks the end of the celebration. As these festivals have become more elaborate in recent years, they often involve lanterns of all shapes, colors, and styles.

Chinese New Year is right around the corner and with it comes all of the hopes for the coming year. It’s the Year of the Rat and with it comes the expectation of wealth and good fortune. Are you celebrating Chinese New Year 2021? Share your holiday ideas with others in our comments! Whether you’re paying your debts or participating in the dragon dance, there’s still time to plan your Lunar New Year.

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