Chinese New Year: History, significance and all you need to know

Chinese New Year: History, significance and all you need to know

Updated: 2 months, 9 days, 5 hours, 22 minutes, 24 seconds ago

The date of the Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar. (Photo credit: Pixabay)

Fireworks and dancing dragons are a major part of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

News The colour red has great significance in Chinese New Year festivities.  People gift money to their children in red envelopes and also wear red clothes.  This year, the Chinese Lantern Festival will be observed on February 5, 2023.

New Delhi: Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is celebrated by Chinese people across the world. The dates of the celebration, which starts on a day between January 21 and February 20 according to Western calendars, vary from year to year because the lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon. This year, Chinese New Year falls on January 22, and the festivities will end two weeks later, on the first full moon of the lunar calendar. In this article, we will outline the history, origin, and other details of Chinese New Year.


According to historians, a monster known as Nian used to appear and scare people on the eve of the Lunar New Year. Nian was a threat who could murder both humans and animals. Chinese people used to wear red clothes and burn fire crackers to fend off the wicked Nian. Because the ancient Chinese thought that Nian was scared of the sound of fire crackers and the colour red.Though it is not completely clear when exactly Chinese New Year celebrations began, it is said to have originated from the year-end religious ceremony conducted during the Shang Dynasty (1766–1122 BC). In 1928, the Kuomintang party decreed that Chinese New Year would fall on January 1, following the Gregorian Calendar, but this was abandoned due to public outrage. The official Chinese New Year celebrations were banned in China during the Cultural Revolution of 1967. The State Council of the People’s Republic of China announced that the public should change customs.


According to the cycle of the Chinese zodiac, each Chinese year is linked to a particular animal sign. These are a rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. This new year is the “Year of the Rabbit”. In Chinese tradition, the sign of the rabbit represents longevity, harmony, and prosperity. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope.

 How to celebrate?

Ten days before the Lunar New Year, a practice known as “sweeping of the grounds” occurs where people clean their homes to drive out bad luck. All the family members gather on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to rejoice and remember their ancestors. Children are also given money in red envelopes on New Year’s Day as gifts. The Lantern Festival marks the culmination of the celebrations for the new year, which also feature several fireworks displays and dancing. At night, traditional meals are served, and colourful lanterns illuminate the homes. The dragon is regarded as a symbol of strength and fortune in China. Because of this, a long, colourful dragon puppet is paraded through the streets during dragon dancing in several parts of the nation.