Happy Chinese New Year!
America World wishes everyone a Happy Chinese New Year!
Here are some things you may not know about this important holiday in China:
Chinese New Year is celebrated all around the world.
One out of every 5 people in the world is Chinese. But that stat doesn’t include the millions of overseas Chinese and people of Chinese descent. London, England; San Francisco, USA; Sydney, Australia; all claim to have the biggest Spring Festival celebrations outside of Asia. We’re can’t say if that’s true or not. But if you have a Chinatown nearby, you can definitely get a feel for what the celebrations are like.
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. You can also call it the Lunar New Year because countries such as North and South Korea and Vietnam celebrate it as well. And because the Spring Festival goes according to the lunar calendar.
It is the longest Chinese holiday
The Spring Festival is technically 15 days. But celebrations start on New Year’s Eve (making it 16 days). You can also say that the holiday season starts in (lunar) December with the Laba Festival (腊八节—là bā jié). That’s around 40 days of celebrations! During the holiday, Chinese people spend twice as much on shopping and eating out than Americans spend on Thanksgiving. Traditionally, you have to spend time with your family and can only go out after the 5th day. It’s a national holiday. The large majority of stores are closed too.
There’s no set date for Chinese New Year
According to the Lunar calendar, the Spring Festival is on January 1st and lasts until the 15th (the full moon). But when you try to calculate it with the solar (Gregorian) calendar, the date is all over the place. Chinese New Year ranges from January 21 to February 20. In 2018, it occurs on February 16. For a full list of dates and events check out our Chinese New Year calendar. Modern Chinese calendars use the Gregorian calendar but include lunar holidays. The lunar calendar is still really important in China, even though it has officially moved to the Gregorian calendar like the rest of the world. All traditional holidays and days such as the Winter Solstice are celebrated. Some people still calculate their birthdays and ages according to the lunar calendar too!
We always want to advocate for children who are without families and today we specifically advocate for the children in China who desperately need a family to call their own.
If your family is interested in learning more about adoption or considering adoption from China, please contact our China staff at China@awaa.org for more information. Families can view our China Adoption page for more information on children currently waiting for families.