A Chinese dragon to mark the Chinese New Year celebrations

Chinese New Year

Also known as the Spring festival – Chinese New Year is one of the oldest, most-widely celebrated festivals of them all. Chinese New Year is the first day of the first lunar month of Chinese calendar year. The Chinese new year day is always between 20th January and 20th February each year. The preparation to celebrate the Chinese New Year festival begins around 8th day of 12th lunar month. The last day of the Chinese New Year festival is on the 15th day of first lunar month. That means about three weeks are required to prepare the festival and 15 days to celebrate it. In China, people often take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

The Chinese New Year festival dates back to 21st Century BC and it is believed that the festival came about as a celebration of the harvest, giving thanks to the gods and venerating the family ancestors. On New Year’s Eve the family gather for a special banquet and the spirits of the ancestors are honoured, thus celebrating family unity and the contribution of past and present generations. New Years’ main festivities officially last for three days and the main activities during the celebrations concern frightening away the ghosts with as many firecrackers as possible and visits of relatives and friends. There are also special performances of Dragon and lion dances and lantern exhibitions.

The colour red is a particularly auspicious colour that is believed to scare away evil spirits and bad fortune. During New Year red is predominant in decorations, firecrackers, clothing and in the small envelopes that are traditionally filled with money and given to family and friends.

Today Chinese New Year is widely celebrated throughout the world by Chinese communities and their compatriots. However there is no better place to witness the festivities than in China itself.

Whilst our group tours do not run at this of year, our private journeys can be arranged to coincide with the celebrations, or we are happy to arrange a tailormade tour that can incorporate the Chinese New Year.

Additional Information

  • Chinese New Year Dates:
  • - 03 Februaury 2011
  • - 23 January 2012

Chinese New Year is available on the following trips

Group Tours

The On The Go Theatre
Discover the highlights of China on one of our group tours