Fun Facts about Chinese New Year!

The lunar new year (better known as the Chinese New Year) begins next week, February 5, 2019. This year will be the Year of the Earth Pig. (Stay tuned for some facts about pigs, the year of the pig and a pig craft round-up coming soon.) I thought it would be fun to look at some fun facts about this holiday. In China and many cultures this holiday is the big holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas is in America. It amazes me how I learn something new about this holiday every year as I prepare post. So read below to learn a bit about the holiday and some fun facts about it.

Fun Facts about Lunar New Year

  1. It is also called the Spring Festival. The dates change each year since it follows the lunar calendar. It can start in mid-January to mid-February.
  2. The Chinese zodiac has 12 animals, but it is actually a 60-year cycle. Each animal has five elements that repeat every 60 years.


  4. The celebration lasts fifteen days until the Chinese Lantern Festival (in China) and the seven to fourteen days are public holidays.

  5. One sixth of the people in the world celebrate the lunar new year.
  6. It starts with a Reunion Dinner on the eve before. Similar to how Americans travel at Thanksgiving, it is important for families to be together for the reunion dinner. During this time is the largest human migration in the world.

  7. Lunar new year has the largest usage of fireworks in the year. All families light off fireworks and the largest display is on Lunar New Year’s Eve. Some cities have banned fireworks, but people light them off anyway.

  8. Red is the color of decorations for Lunar New Year.
  9. Everyone wears new clothes for the new year.

  10. Red envelopes with money inside are given to children. In 2018 600 million digital red envelopes were sent to express blessings and wishes for the lunar new year.

  11. It is like a national birthday. Everyone is considered a year older that day.
  12. One tradition is to hide a coin or a few in dumplings while making them. The coins represent luck and wealth and the person who eats those dumplings will have the most of both in the new year.

  13. The Chinese symbol for good fortune is fu. It is often hung upside down during the new year. In Chinese upside down and come are the same sound, so hanging it upside down means good fortune coming.
  14. The house must be cleaned before New Year’s Eve and sweeping the house is not allowed on New Year’s Day. On December 27th or 28th of the Lunar Year people wash all of their dirty clothes and take a bath. The washing of clothes symbolizes washing out all the filth and makes way for the good luck that is coming. Taking a bath symbolizes expelling all sickness outward. (This custom has faded away due to modern appliances.)
  15. On the third day people stay inside because it is Chigou’s Day. Chigou means “red dog” and is the God of Rage. People who go out may get into squabbles or quarrels.
  16. Legend says the Kitchen God reports to the Jade Emperor the daily affairs of the family. Families offer the Kitchen God sweets prior to 23rd day of the twelfth month and they put up a new painting of the Kitchen God on the fourth day of the new year with some sacrifices to welcome him back.
  17. The fifth day of the new year is the birthday of God of Wealth. People prepare a large meal and offer him sacrifices.
  18. On the sixth day all the trash is dumped to represent sending the Poor Devil away. Throwing away the trash represents throwing away all the poverty and hardships.
  19. The lunar new year is celebrated by many Eastern Asia countries including Korea, Tibet, Vietnam, and Mongolia. Whereas South and Southeast Asia celebrate the lunisolar new year which occurs in April. 


Chinese New Year Resources

We have been "celebrating" (read as learning about) the Chinese New Year for quite awhile now. I love teaching Hazel about different cultures. Here are some great resources, crafts and more that we have gathered. (By the way the photos above will take you to the original posts as well.)

1) Chinese New Year Book & Crafts
2) Chinese New Year Literacy & Math
3) Chinese Instruments & Other Crafts
4) Chinese New Year Resources
5) Year of the Snake
6) Year of the Horse
7) Year of the Monkey and Chinese Lantern Festival
8) Year of the Dog
9) Year of the Rooster
10) Year of the Sheep
11) Year of the Monkey
12) Chinese Stories and More
13) All About China Book
14) Chinese Cookbook Review
15) Chinese Tea
16) Chinese Origami (not pictured)