Last Updated: December 23, 2020

Chinese New Year

The next Chinese New Year falls on Friday, 12 February, 2021

Gong Xi Fa Cai!   恭禧發財!  (Wishing you happiness and prosperity)

Chinese New Year, also called the Lunar New Year, is the largest holiday celebration on the Chinese calendar. Traditionally, the holiday was a time to honor deities and ancestors, as well as to gather family and friends together for elaborate feasts.  During Chinese New Year, Chinese parents give cash gifts in red envelopes to their children (red is considered a lucky color in China).

Today, many communities celebrate the holiday with parades, fireworks, and traditional Lion and Dragon dances.

San Francisco, California, hosts the largest New Year’s celebration outside of Asia.  Here is a list of the largest Chinese New Year parades and celebrations.

Find Chinese New Year Celebrations and Fireworks

When is Chinese (Lunar) New Year?

Determining the date of the New Year can be complicated, because the traditional Chinese calendar combines elements of the lunar cycle with solar solstices and equinoxes.

The Chinese New Year holiday falls on the new moon closest to the start of spring. If the resulting date falls before January 21, then a “leap month” is inserted, to be sure that the New Year always falls in the range January 21 – February 21.

The Chinese Zodiac

Each year is associated with a type of animal. There are twelve animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig) that repeat in a twelve-year cycle. There is also a separate cycle tied to the months of the Chinese calendar.

The year and month in which a person is born supposedly give specific attributes to the person, based on the characteristics of the zodiac animal.

Find your Chinese Zodiac Sign.

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.