Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!

Many America World’s China families will be celebrating the Chinese New Year, which begins today.

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!

No showering, sweeping or throwing out garbage allowed!

Showering isn’t allowed New Year’s Day. Sweeping and throwing out the garbage isn’t allowed before the 5th. This is to make sure you don’t wash away the good luck! On the other hand, there’s a day before the Spring Festival dedicated to cleaning. This day is to sweep the bad luck away and make room for the good. Most hair salons are closed during the entirety of Chinese New Year because hair cutting is taboo.

What else is taboo during Chinese New Year?

  • Hair cutting (before February 2)
  • Using scissors, knives and other sharp things
  • Arguing, swearing
  • Saying unlucky words (such as “death” and “sickness”)
  • Breaking things
  • Fighting and crying
  • Avoid taking medicine
  • Do not visit the wife’s family

 


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 an 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.

PRE-APPLY FOR FREE for assistance in qualifying or fill out our FULL APPLICATION now to begin your adoption process.

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