Chinese New Year in Singapore in 2020

Chinese New Year in Singapore in 2020
  How long until Chinese New Year?
This holiday next takes place in 75 days.
  Dates of Chinese New Year in Singapore
2021 Feb 12, Feb 13
SingaporeSat, Feb 13National Holiday
SingaporeFri, Feb 12National Holiday
2020 Jan 25, Jan 26, Jan 27
SingaporeMon, Jan 27National Holiday (in lieu)
SingaporeSun, Jan 26National Holiday (additional day)
SingaporeSat, Jan 25National Holiday
2019 Feb 5, Feb 6
SingaporeWed, Feb 6National Holiday
SingaporeTue, Feb 5National Holiday
2018 Feb 16, Feb 17
SingaporeSat, Feb 17National Holiday
SingaporeFri, Feb 16National Holiday
2017 Jan 28, Jan 29, Jan 30
SingaporeMon, Jan 30National Holiday
SingaporeSun, Jan 29National Holiday
SingaporeSat, Jan 28National Holiday
Chinese New Year 2018 is the year of the brown earth dog
  Chinese New Year in other countries
Chinese New Year internationally
  Which regions observe Chinese New Year in 2020?
Singapore  SingaporeJan 25National Holiday
Singapore  SingaporeJan 27National Holiday (in lieu)

When is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is a public holiday in several countries in East Asia.

Chinese Lunar Year begins at sunset on the day of the second New Moon following the winter solstice (21st December). This means the New Year can begin anytime from 21st January through to 21st February.

Chinese New Year Animal Signs

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 Pig. The Pig is a symbol of diligence, compassion, and generosity in China.

Year Date Animal
2021 February 12 Ox
2020 January 25 Rat
2019 February 5 Boar
2018 February 16 Dog
2017 January 28 Rooster
Full list of Years and Animals

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 Chinese New Year is very similar to the Western one, swathed in traditions and rituals.

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. The public holidays last about a week and stores and places of business usually reopen on the fifth day of the first lunar month.

Preparations 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.

Chinese New Year's Eve

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 sits 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.

During the Spring Festival season, a 40-day period known as "Chunyun" that begins 15 days before Chinese New Year, sees masses of Chinese people travel back from the cities to their home towns to be with their families. This results in the world’s largest annual human migration.

Chinese New Year's Day

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. It is also common for couples to give money to their parents.

In recent years, the custom has embraced modern technology and in 2017, 14.2 billion e-hongbaos (digital red packets) were sent on Chinese New Year's Eve through social media platforms such as WeChat.

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, on the next full moon, which is a celebration with singing, dancing, and lantern shows.

Around the world

Chinese New Year celebrations are not limited just to mainland China and those countries who observe it as a public holiday. Across the world, the Chinese diaspora from Southeast Asia's centuries-old Chinese communities to the more recent Chinatowns such as Sydney, London, San Francisco, Vancouver, Los Angeles will mark Chinese New Year, with parades and lion dances attracting large crowds. Iconic landmarks around the world such as the Tokyo Tower and the London Eye will turn red to mark the new year.

Working in Singapore over Chinese New Year

The following work day becomes a holiday if an employee’s usual day of rest falls on a public holiday. Employers who require employees to work during the holiday must pay twice their normal wages, although the employer may give compensatory time off to employees in managerial or executive positions.

Did you know?

Three facts about Chinese New Year

Instead of wrapped gifts that other nationalities give at their main holiday season, for Chinese New Year, children receive red envelopes stuffed full of money. The amount of money is usually an even number - but the amount is not divisible by four, as the number 4 means death.

On the last day of the old year, food is prepared for the next two days so that all sharp instruments, such as knives and scissors, are placed in the drawer to avoid cutting the 'luck' of the New Year.

People will often eat noodles on the second day of the Lunar New Year as noodles represent longevity.

More facts about Chinese New Year

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