New Year in China 2023 | SPRING FESTIVAL
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in China. It is a time for families to come together, celebrate the past year's achievements, and welcome the new year. However, in this blog post, we will cover not only everything about Spring Festival but also 6 things to keep in mind when traveling to China during the New Year celebration in 2023.
About Chinese New Year
During the Chinese New Year festival, people in China engage in various traditional activities, including setting off fireworks, decorating their homes with red lanterns and paper cuttings, and giving children red envelopes filled with money.
One of the most iconic symbols of Chinese New Year is the dragon dance, in which performers dress up in elaborate dragon costumes and perform acrobatic feats to beat drums. The dragon is considered a symbol of good fortune and is believed to bring good luck to those who watch the dance.
Another popular tradition during Chinese New Year is the eating of dumplings, known as jiaozi in Chinese. These savory or sweet treats are filled with meat, vegetables, or fruit and are believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year.
In addition to these traditional activities, Chinese New Year is also a time for people to visit their families and pay respects to their ancestors. Furthermore, it is a time for forgiveness and reconciliation, and people often use the holiday to resolve conflicts or disputes with loved ones.
Overall, Chinese New Year is a time of joy and celebration, and it is a beloved holiday in China celebrated by millions of people every year. Whether in China or elsewhere, it is a time to come together with loved ones and embrace the new year with hope and optimism.
Note that the Chinese New Year is also celebrated vastly in Singapore with lots of different festivals, traditions and light-ups.
When is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year never has a set date, unlike the global New Year celebrated on January 1. Depending on the Chinese lunar calendar, the dates might vary, although they often fall between January 21 and February 20 of the Gregorian calendar.
When does the festival end? In China, most people have at least seven days off from work, which includes three legal holidays in addition to the preceding and following weekends.
DATE: January 22, 2023
HOLIDAY: January 21-27, 2023
How is New Year Celebrated in China?
The Lunar New Year will soon be here when all the roads and streets will be lined with bright red lanterns and other beautiful lights. What, then, do Chinese people do? After a busy month-and-a-half of Christmas shopping and spring cleaning the house, the festivities begin on New Year's Eve and last 15 days until the full moon and the Lantern Festival. Scroll down to learn the Top 10 Chinese New Year Activities.
#1 Sweeping the House
People thoroughly clean the house between December 23 in the lunar calendar and Chinese New Year's Eve. To sweep away bad luck and greet the New Year, people sweep the floor, furniture, and walls and discard anything outdated. However, total dwellings on the first day of the Lunar New Year are never advised since it symbolizes wiping out the luck and fortune of the New Year.
#2 New Year Shopping
One of the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations must be shopping. Nearly 10 days before New Year's Eve, crowds are typical in markets and shopping centers during this time. New clothing, red decorations, meat, food for the kids, and firecrackers are the major items people purchase. Moreover, the grocery list must include candy, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. Nowadays, many people choose to purchase online since it is more convenient, and every year, e-commerce businesses host several online New Year's fairs with significant discounts.
#3 Having a Reunion Dinner
The most important and meaningful event for all Chinese people must be a reunion meal. No matter how far they may travel, the entire family is together here. Everyone makes an effort to return home to be with their families. Almost all of the food is homemade, and it may be the most generous spread of the year. Additionally, fish must be served because the pronunciation of the word fish, yu, indicates "surplus" in terms of both riches and household supplies.
#4 Eating Dumplings
Dumpling eating is a crucial component of Chinese New Year celebrations. Dumplings are created with minced meat and vegetables. They are wrapped in spherical, elastic skin that resembles a Chinese silver ingot. Dumplings are symbolic of reunion, harmony, and fortune in Chinese culture. Almost every family member typically participates in the process of making dumplings while conversing with one another. Minced pork, fish, chopped shrimp, tofu, and veggies are the most common stuffing ingredients.
#5 Exchanging Red Envelopes
Younger generations will get red envelopes containing cash gifts from parents, grandparents, and other family members. Red envelopes must have brand-new bills; the sum ranges typically from 100 to 1000. In south China, some red envelopes might contain more. Many kids today buy books and school supplies with the money from their red envelopes.
#6 Pasting Spring Festival Couplets
Couplets for the Spring Festival are written on red paper with gold paint or ink, initially to frighten away evil spirits. In addition, Chinese people decorate their gates with Spring Festival couplets to add to the joyous ambiance. The upper scroll is typically pasted first, followed by the bottom scroll, and finally, the horizontal scroll. Additionally, Chinese people like to paste the Chinese character Fu, which may be done both ways—upside-down or normally—because, according to Chinese tradition, Fu, when pasted upside-down, heralds the coming of good fortune.
#7 Setting off Firecrackers
Lighting firecrackers is necessary for terms of the most well-liked Chinese New Year activities. In the regular events, Chinese people stay up late till midnight and light firecrackers to celebrate the start of the New Year and frighten away evil spirits. This also serves to ring in the new year. However, large cities like Beijing and Shanghai restrict people from lighting off firecrackers for safety and environmental reasons. The Hong Kong CNY fireworks performance at Victoria Harbour is viral among public fireworks displays.
#8 Watching CCTV's New Year Gala
Since 1983, watching CCTV's New Year Gala has been a customary Chinese New Year practice. Crosstalk, comedy routines, and singing and dance performances are expected. On CNY eve, the big party begins at 8 p.m. and goes until midnight. The song "Unforgettable Tonight" usually ends CCTV's New Year Gala.
#9 Sending Blessing Messages
Chinese people use Wechat to send blessing messages to their loved ones, friends, and coworkers during the festival. At 00:00, people send good luck messages to share their hopes for the upcoming year. Additionally, Chinese people frequently use Wechat to send films, emoji packages, and voice messages.
#10 Visiting Relatives
Beginning on the second day of the Chinese New Year, people visit their friends and family to wish them well. On the second day of the New Year, married couples visit the wife's parents by custom. Providing presents, such as local goods and wines, is acceptable when individuals visit family and friends. Additionally, their elders might give crimson envelopes to young married couples and young children.
Travel during Chinese New Year – 6 Things You Should Know
If you decide to visit China and experience the Spring Festival yourself in 2023, these are 6 things to know.
#1 Prepare for crowds
When all migrant workers and students return home, the 40 days around the festival are a significant peak travel time, resulting in an astounding 3 billion travelers! Always remember to avoid the Spring Festival Travel Rush, avoid taking the train if feasible, and purchase your tickets as early as you can.
#2 Calm down when hearing the firecrackers
Tremendous explosions and spectacular fireworks displays will shake the entire nation. Not to worry. Just a celebration.
#3 Shortened opening hours
Banks, public transportation, and other public service services have fewer hours of operation on holiday. The business almost completely stops. For a holiday, many restaurants and stores close.
#4 Where to go
Beijing, Xi'an, and Pingyao offer northern Chinese traditional festivals, Guangzhou preserves south Chinese folk traditions, and Harbin is a well-liked January vacation spot for its thrilling ice and snow sports.
- Best places in Beijing: Ditan Park, Summer Palace, Beihai Park, Beijing Botanical Garden, Longqing Gorge, Huaibei International Ski Resort.
- Best places in Xi'an: Xi’an City Wall Lantern Fair, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Daming Palace Site Park, Yongxingfang, Tang West Market, Cuihua Mountain.
- Best places in Harbin: Ice and Snow World, Sun Island, Zhaolin Park, Yabuli Ski Resort, Snow Town.
- Top things to do in Pingyao: Stay in a Traditional Courtyard Style Inn, Enjoy Night View, Watch Shehuo Parade, Folk Performance.
- Best places in Guangzhou: Spring Flower Fairs, Flower City Square, Yuexiu Park, Guangfu Temple Fair.
#5 Weather & Clothing
- Southmost Hainan: 17 ~ 25°C; long-sleeve T-shirt or thin coat
- Southern areas like Guangdong, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Yunnan: 5 ~ 15°C; sweater + jacket or trench coat
- South and east areas including Shanghai & Hangzhou: 2 ~ 10°C; sweater + light down jacket
- Central China including Xi’an & Chengdu: -3 ~ 8 °C; sweater + thick down jacket
- North destinations around Beijing: -10 ~ 5°C; wool sweater + thick parka or down coat
- Northeast cities like Harbin: -30 ~ -10°C; as thick as possible
#6 Book your hotel early
There will be a Spring Festival travel rush, and many people have booked their hotels at least half a year in advance. But you still have a chance. Just don't wait too long. However, because of the high demand, the prices could've gone up, so we advise you to check for the best available hotel price with Ratepunk.
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