Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is the grandest festival in China, with a 7-day long holiday. As the most colorful annual event, the traditional CNY celebration lasts longer, up to two weeks, and the climax arrives around the Lunar New Year’s Eve.
China during this period is dominated by iconic red lanterns, loud fireworks, massive banquets and parades, and the festival even triggers exuberant celebrations across the globe.
2020 – The Year of the Rat
In 2020 Chinese New Year festival falls on Jan. 25. It is the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese zodiac, which features a 12-year cycle with each year represented by a specific animal. People born in the Years of the Rat including 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, and 2008 will experience their Zodiac Year of Birth (Ben Ming Nian).
Time for Family Reunion
Like Christmas in Western countries, Chinese New Year is a time to be home with family, chatting, drinking, cooking, and enjoying a hearty meal together.
When is Chinese New Year?
Unlike the universal New Year observed on January 1st, Chinese New Year is never on a fixed date. The dates vary according to Chinese lunar calendar, but generally fall on a day between January 21st and February 20th in the Gregorian calendar.
How long is the festival? Most people in China have at least seven days off work, including three days’ legal holiday, and the preceding and following weekends. Here’s a CNY timetable for recent years, marked in UTC/GMT+08:00.
Why is it called Spring Festival?
The festival date is in January or February, around the Chinese solar term the ‘Beginning of Spring’, so it is also named the ‘Spring Festival’.