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Chinese New Year 2019

Chinese Public Holidays in 2018 Public Holiday in China and several countries

Chinese New Year 2019 is the Year of the Pig
2019 is the Year of the Pig

When is Chinese New Year?

How long until Chinese New Year?
This holiday next takes place in 55 Days.
Chinese New Year Animals
Year Date Animal
2020 January 25 Rat
2019 February 5 Boar
2018 February 16 Dog
2017 January 28 Rooster
2016 February 8 Monkey
Who celebrates Chinese New Year?
Country
Public holidays in Brunei in 2018 Brunei
Public holidays in China in 2018 China
Public holidays in East Timor in 2018 East Timor
Public holidays in Hong Kong in 2018 Hong Kong
Public holidays in Indonesia in 2018 Indonesia
Public holidays in Malaysia in 2018 Malaysia
Public holidays in Philippines in 2018 Philippines
Public holidays in Singapore in 2018 Singapore
Public holidays in Suriname in 2018 Suriname
Public holidays in Taiwan in 2018 Taiwan
Public holidays in Thailand in 2018 Thailand (Regional)
Summary
The Chinese New Year is very similar to the Western one, swathed in traditions and rituals
View our comprehensive list of Lunar New Year holidays by day...

Chinese New Year begins on 5 February 2019 and is celebrated by a quarter of the world's population. It will be a public holiday in several countries in East Asia. To see when different countries have public holidays for Chinese New Year, use our comprehensive list of Lunar New Year holidays by day.

Each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac. 2019 will be the year of the Earth Dog. The Pig is a symbol of diligence, compassion, and generosity in China.

Traditions of Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year has a great history. In other traditions, by this time in the year, most resolutions have been forgotten or put back to the following year. However, all hope is not lost, as there's a second chance to get it right with the celebration of Chinese New Year.

The origin of the Chinese New Year is itself ancient and obscured by the amount of time. It is popularly recognised as the Spring Festival and celebrations last 15 days.

Preparations tend to begin a month from the date of the Chinese New Year (similar to a Western Christmas), when people start buying presents, decoration materials, food and clothing. A huge clean-up gets underway days before the New Year, when Chinese houses are cleaned from top to bottom, to sweep away any traces of bad luck, and doors and windowpanes are given a new coat of paint, usually red.

The eve of the New Year is perhaps the most exciting part of the event, as anticipation creeps in. Here, traditions and rituals are very carefully observed in everything from food to clothing.

Rituals include cleaning the house, putting up new posters of "door gods" on front doors, fireworks before the family union dinner, which should be at least 10 course meal with a whole fish entrée symbolizing the abundance of the coming year.

It's usual to wear something red as this colour is meant to ward off evil spirits - but black and white are out, as these are associated with mourning. After dinner, the family sit up for the night playing cards, board games or watching TV programmes dedicated to the occasion. At midnight, the sky is lit up by fireworks.

In China, many people will travel back from the cities to their home towns. This results in the world’s largest annual human migration.

On the day itself, an ancient custom called Hong Bao, meaning Red Packet, takes place. This involves married couples giving children and unmarried adults money in red envelopes. Then the family begins to say greetings from door to door, first to their relatives and then their neighbours. Like the Western saying "let bygones be bygones," at Chinese New Year, grudges are very easily cast aside.

Traditional foods eaten during the Spring festival are fish (the Chinese word for 'fish' sounds like the word for ‘surplus,’ so the eating of fish is supposed to bring a surplus of money and good luck); Chinese dumplings (as their shape is said to be like that of silver ingots, which were used as money in ancient Chinese); spring rolls; rice cakes and rice balls.

The end of the New Year is marked by the Festival of Lanterns, which is a celebration with singing, dancing and lantern shows.

China

In China, the rules governing what days are taken for Chinese New Year as public holidays changed in late 2013. From 2014, the festival was a holiday on the first three days of the first lunar month of each year. Since 2008, the three-day holiday had started on the last day of the lunar year.

Indonesia

In 2001, President Abdurrahman Wahid made Chinese New Year an optional holiday. He also lifted a ban on the display of Chinese characters and the import of Chinese publications. In 2002, President Megawati Soekarnoputri declared Chinese New Year as a national holiday starting from 2003

In Indonesia, Chinese New Year is known as 'Imlek' and has become a popular holiday celebrated by all Indonesians, not just those of Chinese descent.


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