Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year (to be more inclusive of other cultures that celebrate the holiday) or Spring Festival, is just around the corner. This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 1, 2022, beginning the Year of the Tiger.
As the Chinese New year approaches, remember to brush up on your Chinese New year greetings. You’ll need to know what to say when visiting family and friends!
Chinese New Year Dates:
Chinese New Year dates are dictated by the Chinese lunisolar calendar, so it is celebrated on a different date in January or February each year.
What is Chinese New Year:
The holiday we sometimes call Chinese New Year in English is known as chūnjié in Chinese, or Spring Festival.
The holiday marks the beginning of a new year on the lunisolar Chinese calendar, which means the corresponding date on our regular Gregorian calendars shifts from year to year.
Chinese New Year usually falls in late January or early February. Again, this year, Chinese New Year falls on February 1, 2022, so you should gear up for your New Year’s Eve dinner on the evening of Monday, January 31, 2022.
This iconic Chinese holiday is characterized by red colors, red envelopes, fireworks, parades, banquets, and brightly lit lanterns at night. Pan-fried pieces of sweet rice cake is a traditional Chinese New Year food.
There are similar holidays in other East Asian cultures such as Vietnam, Korea, and Tibet at the same time, though they are culturally unique. Thus, the broader term for this collection of holidays is Lunar New Year.
How long does Chinese New Year lasts:
In China, it is a more than two-week-long celebration, starting with New Year’s Eve, and ending with the Lantern Festival, known in China as (yuánxiāo jié), on the 15th day of the year.
Officially, it is a 7-day public holiday in China, during which businesses and schools are closed.
Chinese New Year is a time to be home with family, prompting a huge migration of people across China to their home towns and villages.
Eating, drinking, cooking, and catching up on things that happened in the past year are among the activities including and enjoying the important Chinese New Year’s eve meal together with close family.
The days following Chinese New year are all about visiting extended family and friends to exchange more good wishes, red envelopes for children and elders, and of course, delicious traditional foods.
What zodiac sign is 2022:
2022 will be the Year of the Water Tiger.
You may know that the Chinese Zodiac consists of twelve animal signs, but each year also includes one of the 5 elements, metal, water, wood, fire, and earth.
Each of those elements have associated meanings. Here they are on a rather simplistic level:
Wood: creativity, imagination
Fire: passion, adventure
Earth: patience, stability
Metal: persistence, ambition
Water: agility, eloquence
According to the Chinese zodiac, which features a 12-year cycle with each year represented by a specific animal, Tiger years include 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010.
(Though technically, if you were born in January or February, you could’ve been born in the prior lunisolar year, the year of the Ox).
What is the Lantern Festival:
The 15th day of the Chinese New Year holiday comes to its end with the Yuan Xiao or Lantern Festival.
The most traditional food of the Lantern Festival is called yuán xiāo, also known as tāngyuán, which is a glutinous rice ball usually filled with sweet bean, peanut or sesame paste.
They also come in smaller sizes without filling, mixed with fruit and jiu niang, a sweet fermented rice.
You may also have savory tang yuan, which are often served around the Winter Solstice.