Chinese New Year otherwise known as the Spring Festival is one of the major celebratory festivals in China. The date of the Spring Festival varies each year due to the Lunar Calendar which is based on lunar phases and solar solstices. The main focus of the Chinese New Year is all about family and reunion with celebrations lasting for two weeks. The lively atmosphere can be felt with shops and businesses all decorated with red accessories and lanterns.

 
Lunar Calendar - Year of the Goat
The Chinese New Year has been associated with the Chinese Zodiac since the Spring Autumn Period (771 to 476 BC). There are 12 animals associated with the Chinese Zodiac these animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The zodiac has a 12 year cycle with each animal being representative of personality traits that are associated with people born in that year. 2015 is the year of the Goat and will begin on the 19th February 2015 and end on 7th February 2016. Those said to be born in the year of the Goat are said to have personality traits such as affection, grace, intelligence and sympathy. However, they like to be alone and left to their own thoughts.
 
Entertainment & Activities
There is a range of entertainment and activities available during the festival with many traditional cultural activities that are definitely worth experiencing. Some of the most common celebratory activities is watching people set off firecrackers and fireworks. You can also watch the colorful and spectacular dragon dance or lion dance. Another way to enjoy the Chinese New Year culture is to visit the Temple Fairs which are usually crowded with dedicated worshippers. One of the best temple fairs to visit is Beijing Ditan Temple Fair.
 
Family Reunion Dinner
During the Chinese New Year bringing together the family for a reunion is one of the most important aspects of the festival. On New Year’s Eve which is very similar to the western Christmas Eve, family and relatives gather together to have what is known as “Family Reunion Dinner”. During dinner all the family comes together to celebrate the coming of the New Year and to enjoy the company of one another.
 
Red Pockets & Decorations
Throughout the festive period the color red can be seen just about everywhere. Red is the symbolic color for good luck and prosperity, hence why you will see red lanterns, red couplets and red paper cuttings that decorate shopping malls, offices and homes.
Many children are very excited about the prospect of New Year as the older generation hand out red pockets (Hong Bao) filled with lucky money. Red pockets are usually handed out to children or adults that are not married. Married relatives and family are usually expected to hand out red pockets to family.
 
Symbolic New Year Cuisine
During the Chinese New Year bringing together the family for a reunion is one of the most important aspects of the festival. On New Year’s Eve which is very similar to the western Christmas Eve, family and relatives gather together to have what is known as “Family Reunion Dinner”. During dinner all the family comes together to celebrate the coming of the New Year and to enjoy the company of one another.
 
Superstition
Over the celebratory period there are many superstitious things that cannot be done as it is believed to affect your luck for the coming year. Below are some of the things that cannot be done:
1. No housework should be done on first 5 days of Chinese New Year especially sweeping the floor as this apparently means you are sweeping away your good fortune and luck.
2. Washing your hair on the first day to New Year is also a big no as this again symbolizes washing away your good luck.
3. For those who are extra superstitious it is believed that by wearing red underwear can ward off evil and bring you prosperity and fortune. Red underwear can be found in supermarkets and market stalls during the New Year.
 
Festival Travel Period (Chunyun)
Travels during the Chinese New Year are often chaotic due to high numbers of migrant workers returning to their hometowns for the festive holidays. This period is often referred to as “Chunyun” where purchasing train tickets, flights and bus tickets are troublesome and are often in shortage. This high peak travel period usually begins 15 days before the Chinese New Year and comes to an end after 30 days. Travelling in China during this time is not ideal due to many migrants carrying lots of luggage and overcrowding on trains and buses resulting in journeys being inconvenient and uncomfortable.
Train Tickets Flight Tickets

Hot Chinese New Year Destinations> More Destination

Beijing
Hong Kong
Shanghai

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