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Marked by red paper lanterns, sparkling fireworks, and mouthwatering dumplings, the lunar new year is one of the biggest holidays in Chinese culture. It celebrates the end of winter and the start of spring. Also, this day also welcomes the new animal for the Chinese zodiac calendar. This year, Chinese New Years’ traditions start on February 12th, with festivities celebrating the incoming Year of the Ox. Celebrations occur worldwide, with millions of people participating in Chinese New Year rituals and traditions. If you’re looking to bring a bit of luck, happiness, and wealth into 2021, you can also partake in some of these famous Chinese New Year customs. You won’t want to miss out on starting one of these Chinese New Year rituals with your family!
10 Chinese New Year Traditions
Start the New Year off fresh with the Chinese Near Year tradition of cleaning your house. Sort through your closet, empty that crowded junk drawer, feng shui your furniture, and give your entire place a good scrub. By cleansing your home of dust and dirt, you’ll get rid of any bad spirits from the previous year. We love this all-natural household spray, which cleans surfaces without littering your home with harmful chemicals or ingredients.
Chinese New Year Traditional Food
Holidays should be spent with family and friends, and that includes the Chinese Near Year. That said, one of our favorite Chinese New Year rituals is to throw a festive dinner for your loved ones. You can whip up some Chinese specialties like pork dumplings, fortune cookies, and glutinous rice cakes. Then, don’t forget it wash it down with something delicious, like a nice bottle of red wine.
A Photo Finish
Similar to the western holiday season, many people like to send greeting cards to family and friends to celebrate the Chinese New Year traditions. While you can always opt for an e-card, we prefer sending holiday greetings the old fashioned way – by snail mail! These pop-up cards are incredibly unique and are guaranteed to delight and surprise your recipients on Chinese New Year.
One of the most important Chinese New Year customs is to give money inside a hong bao, or red envelope. To explain, traditionally, a few coins or dollars are only offered to children and seniors, although many people now give red envelopes to anyone they wish to share good luck with. You may also choose to send your special loved ones red flowers or other small tokens of appreciation.
The color red is a prominent symbol in Chinese culture, as people believe it to scare away evil spirits and bring luck, happiness, and wealth in the new year. You can make 2021 your lucky year by decorating your home with different red items, like pillows, napkins, or even Chinese lanterns. However, if you’d rather celebrate more subtly, then you can also wear red items of clothing, like lucky red socks and underwear!
Song and Dance
Chinese New Year’s celebrations around the world are festive and elaborate, with live music, fireworks, and traditional Chinese lion dances. In China, there’s a 5-hour variety show with dancing, music, and performances. Better yet, they are broadcasted to over 800 viewers around the country. While there probably won’t be many large celebrations this year, you can still enjoy the festivities from the comfort of your home. For instance, play some Chinese music over your speakers or pull up lion dance videos while you cook, clean, or eat dinner to create a joyous atmosphere!
Orange You Glad To Celebrate
Along with dumplings and noodles, oranges are common foods given and eaten during Chinese New Year rituals. Not only is the bright color a symbol of happiness, but the word “orange” in Mandarin sounds similar to the word “wealth.” You can place a few oranges out as decoration, or you can give your loved ones a fruit basket full of oranges for good luck.
Shop to Celebrate
Out with the old and in with the new! One of our favorite Chinese New Year traditions is to go on a shopping spree to purchase a new outfit. That is to say, new clothes signify a fresh start! So, you’re free to take this opportunity to buy that new jacket or shirt you’ve been eyeballing the past few weeks. Additionally, if you’re looking for an extra boost of good luck, make sure that it’s something red!
According to Chinese New Year customs, each year represents one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. 2021 is the Year of the Ox, a symbol of hard work, patience, and cheer. Even if you weren’t born in the Year of the Ox, you could still channel good luck and fortune by wearing zodiac clothing. Here is a shirt for the ox, although you might be able to find your own animal here too!
To finalize your luck for the new year, you can conduct a Qi cleansing ritual in your home. This removes the stale energy and welcomes more positive energy to fill your house with happiness and love. Start by standing in the main room of your home and clearing your mind of any wandering thoughts. Then fill the room with sound using a Tibetan singing bowl or bell. To end the ceremony, you can burn sandalwood incense to purify the air of any unwanted energy.
How do you plan to welcome the Year of the Ox? Whether you’re tidying up your apartment, planning an extravagant meal, or sending your friends and families Chinese New Year’s greetings, there are plenty of ways to ring in the lunar new year! 新年快乐 (Happy New Year!)
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner from Chinese New Year. For more holiday inspiration check out Easy, Quick Valentine’s Chocolate Bites Recipes and Here Are Some Great Ways to Doll Up Your Nails for Valentine’s Day!