Although Chinese New Year officially 'starts' on 10th February, it actually lasts 16 days, with the Lantern Festival marking the end of the celebrations. Here are a few somewhat surprising traditions and superstitions you may not already know about Chinese New Year.
Firstly, it is known by many names, including #ChineseNewYear, #YearOfTheDragon, #LunarNewYear and #SpringFestival2024.
Little Year comes first
Preparations for the Chinese New Year celebrations begin on 28th January (That's the Solar date. The Lunar date is 23rd December) and last until New Years Eve (4th February). It's tradition to clean your house during this time, to sweep away bad luck. Sugar melons, baked wheat cakes and tofu soup are the food of choice during Little Year.
Chinese New Year's Eve
This evening sees families enjoy the reunion dinner on 9th February. After dinner, children traditionally receive red envelopes and everyone waits up to see in the new year together.
Chinese New Year's Day
On February 10th 2024 families celebrate the start of Spring Festival.
Spring Festival runs from 10th February until 25th February. The first day of New Year was originally called Yuan Dan meaning "the beginning". It is a day of blessings and greetings between neighbours. The ancient Chinese analysed the stars, moon and weather to predict the fortunes of the year. Cleaning or sweeping are forbidden on this day, else good fortune may be swept away. Several other events follow the traditional new year on 10th, all incorporating traditions, food dishes (dumplings and baked bread among them), superstitions and beliefs.
Many of our restaurants will be celebrating Chinese New Year on 10th February. As the new year technically lasts until 24th February, it's the perfect excuse to dine out on any day of the week.