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Happy Chinese New Year 2024

Chinese New Year in 2024 falls on Feb. 10 and ends with the Lantern Festival on Feb. 24. Celebrations last up to 16 days; the Chinese public holiday lasts from Feb. 10 to Feb. 17.

The Chinese zodiac, or Sheng Xiao (生肖), is a repeating 12-year cycle of animal signs and their attributes, based on the lunar calendar.

The Lunar New Year marks the transition from one animal to another. The Year of the Rabbit, which began on Jan. 22, 2023, ends on Feb. 9. Feb. 10 begins the Year of the Dragon. The Year of the Dragon last came in 2012.

In preparation for the Lunar New Year, houses are thoroughly cleaned to drive away any bad luck from the previous year. It is also advised that you pay off any debts ahead of the new year, in part to close the books at the end of the year and start another year fresh.

Some additional traditions preparing for the lunar new year include putting spring festival couplets on doors or windows and buying new clothes.

On the morning of New Year’s Eve, people sweep the tombs of their ancestors and then return home. When they finish hanging Spring Festival couplets and red lanterns, it’s time for the big family reunion dinner. This banquet is believed to be the most important dinner of the year. Big families of several generations come together and enjoy delicious and lucky dishes.

In China, the foods served at these dinners vary from north to south. Northern Chinese cuisine tends to have dumplings and noodles; southern Chinese meals rely heavily on rice cakes. Traditionally, people give out red envelopes with money and light fireworks after dinner.

The last day of the New Year is known as the Festival of Lanterns and marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. All types of lanterns are lighted throughout the streets, and poems and riddles are often written for entertainment.


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