Chinese New Year 2019 (Festival Guide, Celebrations, Traditions)
Chinese New Year or ‘Spring Festival’ also called Lunar New Year, comes on the first day of Chinese lunar calendar (日历), and ends with the Lantern Festival. Being one of the traditional Chinese festivals, it is the grandest and the most important festival for Chinese people. It is also the time for whole families to get together, which is similar to Christmas for Westerners.
During the spring festival, Chinese people will take a series of traditional activities to celebrate their reunion.
When is Chinese New Year 2019?
Chinese New Year 2019 falls on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, beginning a year of the Pig. China’s public holiday will be February 4–10, 2019.
From the 23rd day of the last lunar month, also known as Xiaonian (meaning small new year), people begin a series of activities to send off the old and welcome the new in preparation for the big celebration of the Spring Festival. These new-year celebrations will continue until the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month, which officially concludes the Spring Festival.
2019 – Year of The Pig
In 2019 Chinese New Year festival, it is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac, runs from 5th February 2019 to 24th January 2020. Every Chinese is born with an animal sign, and the sign then becomes one’s birthmark as well as a life-long mascot.
The Zodiac year of birth is generally regarded as the year that will bring disaster and misfortune on the basis of traditional Chinese custom. Therefore, Chinese people describe the zodiac year of birth as the Threshold Year since to pass the zodiac year equals stepping across a threshold.
- Find out your Chinese New Year horoscope? See more on Chinese Zodiac.
Chinese New Year 2019: Legends
According to the legend, Perpetual Calendar is the oldest solar calendar. It is said that the editor was a young man named Wan Nian (in English: Perpetual). In order to commemorate his achievements, people named the calendar after his name. Every family hangs his picture at the Spring Festival which is called the portrait of God of Longevity.
See more Legends of Chinese New Year:
How do Chinese people celebrate the Chinese New Year？
Small Year (23rd to 29th of the 12th lunar month)
•Thanking the Kitchen God •Cleaning the house •Shopping •Decorating
New Year’s Eve (30th of the 12th lunar month)
•Family Reunion Dinner •Watch CCTV GALA •Money Gift •Set off Firecrackers and Fireworks
Chinese New Year’s Day
•Set off Firecrackers •Wear New Clothes •New Year’s Greetings •Eat Dumplings
Day 2 to Day 14
•Married Daughter Return Home •Welcome the God of wealth •Send Poverty away •Set up the Tents of lanterns
Day 15: the Lantern Festival (period ends)
•Watch Lantern •Eat Sweet Dumplings •Visiting the Temple Fair
- With Spring Festival just around the corner, we welcome everyone to experience Chinese New Year today! Read more on Day-by-Day Celebrating Schedule of Chinese New Year 2019.
Chinese New Year 2019: Firecrackers
Firecrackers (鞭炮) were made in China, also called by folk people as “Bao Zhang”, “Pao Zhang”, “Bao Zhu”. It has a history of two thousand years. Setting off firecrackers can create a lively festive atmosphere. As a recreation, it can bring people joy and luck. Firecrackers are used in more fields as time goes by with more elegant design and various colors. People set off firecrackers on every occasion when major holidays come, or wedding ceremonies, house building ceremonies and opening ceremonies are held.
It is said that “Nian” (year) was a strong monster. People use red color and fireworks or firecrackers to drive away “Nian”. As a result, the custom of using red color and setting off fireworks remains.
Family Reunion Dinner on New Year’s Eve
年夜饭[nián yè fàn]
New Year’s Eve is the most important traditional festival and the moment of reunion. On that day, people have a dinner of a family reunion to welcome the arrival of the New Year. Even the relatives living far away will go back to celebrate the New Year.
The dumpling is the necessary food on New Year’s Eve. In the opinion of Chinese, Spring Festival cannot be perfect without having dumplings. On New Year’s Eve, every family keeps busy cutting up meat and vegetables to make dumplings together. And the sound of firecrackers comes from the street. All the people put on new clothes with a smiling face and chat with each other so happily, creating an atmosphere filled with pleasure and joy.
- New Year’s Eve is the busiest and most joyous day of the Spring Festival. Read more on Chinese New Year’s Eve.
Chinese New Year Food
Food traditions of the Spring Festival are a very important part of the culture. There is a great variety of food made during the Spring Festival, each having its own cultural characteristics.
Different regions and ethnic groups have their own food traditions for the Spring Festival. The Han Chinese mainly have dumplings, New Year glutinous rice cakes, glutinous rice dumplings, meat balls, fish, fruits, candies, peanuts and various seeds, of which dumplings and New Year glutinous rice cakes are the most common food items.
In the northern part of China people start to eat dumplings at 12 a.m. when the old years being replaced by the new year. In Chinese this moment is called Geng Sui Jiao Zi meaning changing from the old to the new. Jiao Zi is pronounced similar to the Chinese for dumplings. Besides, the Chinese dumplings have a shape of gold ingots, which symbolize bringing in good fortune and wealth. Therefore, dumplings are one of the most favorable foods during the Spring Festival.
In the southern part of China, New Year glutinous rice cakes are a must in the Spring Festival foods because of the Chinese for NewYear glutinous rice cakes Nian Gao rhymes with the Chinese for rising higher step by step to have a better life year after year.
- What Lucky Food to Eat for Chinese New Year? See more on Chinese New Year Festival Food.
Chinese New Year 2019: A Journey Home
回家过年[huí jiā guò nián]
Rich or poor, you’ll be home for the Spring Festival. It is a traditional festival for family member to get together. The delicious food is tasteless without kinfolks. The luxurious palace is not home without relatives. To spend the Festival with parents, sisters and brothers, bitterness is as sweet as happiness.
Till now, “Spring Transportation” has remained a word of dilemmatic emotions. During the Spring Festival, a great number of people have to travel a long way between the city where they work and the hometown where they were born. The hard journey home full of bitter and sweet is a pilgrimage.
Chinese New Year 2019: CCTV Spring Festival Gala
The nationwide-known Spring Festival Gala or CCTV Spring Festival Gala, or simply called the Gala, is a variety of shows hosted by CCTV to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day on the Eve of the Spring Festival.
The Gala commences at eight o’clock pm and is broadcasted live on CCTV-1, CCTV4, CCTV-7, NEWS, Spanish Channel, French Channel, Arabic Channel, Russian Channel, and some high-definition Channels. People can enjoy the live show given by CNTV through the internet or even on mobile TV and CCTV ip. The Gala lasts five hours and it won’t finish until one o’clock of the next morning. Billions of people sit in front of the TV to watch the great show while waiting for the coming of the new year.
- See more on Temple Fair, Lantern Fair & The Gala.
Most commonly greeting words and Chinese words
1.传统中国节日：traditional Chinese festival
4.小年：Little New Year
5.除夕：Lunar New Year’s Eve
6.春节：the Spring Festival
7.正月初一：Lunar New Year’s Day
8.元宵节：the Lantern Festival
9.正月：the first month of the lunar year
10.二月二：Dragon Heads-raising Day
11.喝腊八粥：eat Laba porridge
12.扫尘：sweep the dust
14.祭灶：offer sacrifices to the God of Kitchen
16.拜年： pay a New Year’s call
17.祭祖：offer sacrifices to one’s ancestors
18.祭财神：worship the God of Wealth
19.春联：Spring Festival couplets
20.贴倒福：paste the Chinese character “Fu” upside down
21.去晦气：get rid of the ill-fortune
22.辞旧岁：bid farewell to the old year
25.烧香：burn incense26.吃团圆饭：have a family reunion dinner
27.年夜饭：New Year’s Eve dinner
29.办年货：do Spring Festival shopping
30.敬酒：propose a toast
31.穿新衣：wear new clothes
33.压岁钱：gift money；money given to children as a Lunar New Year gift
34.年糕：rice cake；New Year cake
35.饺子：dumplings；Chinese meat ravioli
36.汤圆：dumplings made of sweet rice
37.八宝饭：eight-treasure rice pudding (steamed glutinous rice with bean paste, lotus seeds, preserved fruit, etc.)
39.糖莲子：candied lotus seed
41.蜜冬瓜：candied winter melon
42.瓜子：red melon seeds
46.冰糖葫芦：candied haws on a stick
59.年画：New Year painting
63.秧歌：Yongko dance；rural folk dance
67.相声：comic dialogue；cross talk
72.京韵大鼓：drum song of Peking
73.踩高跷：walk on stilts
77.春节联欢晚会：Spring Festival gala
78.灯会：exhibit of lanterns
79.送贺卡：send New Year’s greeting cards
80.理发：have a haircut
81.放烟花：set off fireworks
82.放鞭炮：set off firecrackers
83.灯谜：riddles written on lanterns
84.门神：the God of Door
85.灶神：the God of Kitchen
86.财神：the God of Wealth
87.土地爷：the God of Land
88.火神：the God of Fire
89.喜神：the God of Happiness
90.福禄寿三星：the three gods of fortune, prosperity and longevity
91.八仙：the Eight Immortals
93.猪年：the Year of the Pig
94.微信红包：WeChat red envelope
96.立春： Start of Spring
97.24节气：24 Solar Terms
98.本命年：the animal year in which one was born
99.春运：Spring Festival travel rush
Treasures fill the home
Peace all year round
Wishing you prosperity
Harmony brings wealth
May all your wishes come true
Everything goes well
The country flourishes and people live in peace
Money and treasures will be plentiful
Wishing you every success Promoting to a higher position
Safe trip wherever you go
Wish you happiness and prosperity in the coming year!
Wish you success in your career and happiness of your family!
May the joy of New Year be with you throughout the year.
Peace and love for you at New Year from all your students.
Wishing you a sparkling New Year and bright happy New Year! May the season bring much pleasure to you.
Wishing you all the blessings of a beautiful New Year season.
I wish you have a happy and healthy Chinese new year!
Living long and prosper.
Good luck in the year ahead.
Good luck in the year of pig.