Celebrating the New Year 2023
Happy New Year! Ever wondered why January starts the new year? Find out all about New Year’s Day, popular customs. Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is the most important festival in China and a major event in some other East Asian countries.
Chinese New Year is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese unicellular calendar. It was traditionally a time to honor deities and ancestors, and it has also become a time to feast and visit family members.
It’s safe to say that we’re all ready to celebrate the start of a new year. This time around, New Year’s Eve is Saturday, December 31, 2022, and New Year’s Day is Sunday, January 1, 2023. We look forward to watching the grand fireworks displays that will mark the start of 2023—hopefully a better year for all!
Chinese New Year Traditions
Regional customs and traditions vary widely but share the same theme: seeing out the old year and welcoming in the luck and prosperity of a new year. The main Chinese New Year activities include
putting up decorations,
offering sacrifices to ancestors,
eating reunion dinner with family on New Year's Eve,
giving red envelopes and other gifts,
firecrackers and fireworks, and
watching lion and dragon dances.
Chinese New Year Food
Food is an important part of Chinese New Year. Lucky food is served during the 16-day festival season, especially on the New Year's Eve family reunion dinner.
Fish is a must as it sounds like 'surplus' in Chinese and symbolizes abundance.
Dumplings shaped like Chinese silver ingots are shared as a sign of the family unit and prosperity.
Niángāo (glutinous rice cake) is welcome because it symbolizes a higher income or position as it sounds like 'year high'.
When people meet friends, relatives, colleagues, and even strangers during the festive period, they usually say “Xīnnián hǎo” (新年好), literally meaning 'New Year Goodness', or “Xīnnián kuàilè” (新年快乐), meaning ‘Happy Chinese New Year’.
One of the most famous traditional greetings for Chinese New Year is the Cantonese kung hei fat choi, literally ‘happiness and prosperity’. In Mandarin that’s gongxi facai.