How To Celebrate The Chinese New Year: The Year Of The Ox
Historically the Chinese New Year, a major holiday in China, is marked by a long list of specific celebrations and observance of traditions. The date of the new year is chosen by following the lunar calendar during the two months of January and February. The New Year holiday falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice, this year being December 21st. This year, the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival is celebrated today, being February 12th. It begins with the Little Year and comes to an end with the Lantern Festival. Learn more about how to celebrate the Chinese New Year with our team at Park Ave Magazine.
February 12th is the Spring Festival (春节 / chūn jié)
This starts the Lunar date of January 1st. The Chinese New Year Day or the Day of the Spring Festival that traditionally begins at midnight. At this time, the night sky lights up with glittering colors of fireworks as friends and family celebrate. This is the time to greet each other and pray for the wellbeing of the elderly in the family.
February 13th is for the in-law’s (迎婿日 / yíng xù rì)
Following the continuance of the lunar calendar, the Lunar date is now January 2nd. In true tradition, married daughters pay a visit to their paternal house in tow with their husband and any children they share.
February 14th is the day of the Rat (鼠日 / shǔ rì) (January 3rd)
As the stories tell, people say that rats marry on this day. From here, many leave small crumbs of food around the corners of their houses to feed any rats. Some people also start worshipping the God of Wealth at this time.
February 15th is the day of the Sheep (羊日 / yáng rì) (January 4th)
In Chinese mythology, sheep were created on this day. Ergo, it is the Day of the Sheep. The five gods are welcome on this day with three tables of food. One of kumquats and sugarcanes, the second of cake, and the other bearing the main courses of pig, fish, chicken, and soup.
February 16th the day to Break Five (破五 / pò wǔ) (January 5th)
On this day, the prayers to the God of Wealth conclude. To mark the occasion, shops and businesses open up to usher in a new wave of wealth and prosperity. Some note the day by eating foods such as jiaozi and dumplings.
February 17th the day of the Horse (马日 / mǎ rì) (January 6th)
This is the day when all official work continues again in the business world after the ‘Break Five’. Some families still have a common tradition to throw away all old things on this day. In doing so, it rules out the spirit of Poverty.
February 19th is the day of the Millet (谷日节 / gǔ rì jié) (January 8th)
From a historical standpoint, grain has high value in Chinese society. Many host lunch or dinners featuring this popular grain. Some families also choose to enrich their knowledge of agriculture by visiting rural areas.
February 20th is the day of Providence Health (天公生 / tiān gōng shēng) (January 9th)
The respected and admired Jade Emperor is believed to be born on this day. To celebrate, most activities revolve around worshipping the highest God of the Universe.
February 26th is the Lantern Festival (元宵节 / yuán xiāo jié) (January 15th)
To bring and end to the celebration, the Lantern Festival or the Yuan Xiao Festival sees people hitting the streets with their lanterns. Thousands upon thousands of floating lanterns slowly begin to take over the evening sky. It also symbolizes the brightness and happiness in the hearts of the Chinese people. Because it is a full moon, it makes for even magical moon-gazing while casting your lantern.