In 2017, Chinese New Year (sometimes called the Spring Festival) begins on January 28th. It is the year of the Rooster In the Chinese Lunar Calendar. People that were born in previous Rooster years are considered to have an unlucky year.
Celebrating Chinese New Year begins early and ends well past the actual New Year’s Day. People start cleaning their houses in preparation around the 23rd of the month and family may start coming together the week before the actual holiday. Lots of workers in China will take off two to three weeks so they have time to travel to their hometowns.
Chinese New Year originated as a break after farming and harvesting. The wish was for a prosperous harvest in the new year. Today people wish for a prosperous year in work and business, too.
The Spring Festival focuses on family. The special Reunion Dinner (on New Year’s Day) is the most special meal of the entire year. Many generations of family come together during this important meal.
Dumplings are thought to bring prosperity and wealth in the new year, so they are always served at the meal. Fish is also popular since it is believed that a person will get extra money in the next year if you eat fish.
You will see a lot of the color Red during this time of celebration. Red is a traditional Chinese color and is said to bring good luck. People in China will be wearing red as well as decorating their homes in this color. Since it is the year of the Rooster you will also see rooster decorations.
It doesn’t matter if you are in Shanghai or in small town, the celebrations will be big. There are always dragon and lion dances, as well as plenty of fireworks.
Children and older folds get gifts during Chinese New Year. You must use a lucky envelope (red of course!) to tuck away small money gifts.
Even if you are not in China, you can celebrate. Have a family meal, wear red, and give small money gifts in red envelopes. Welcome the Year of the Rooster!