As 2021 approaches spring, a new year is about to begin. We’re talking about of the year of the ox which will start with the lunar new year, an event that celebrates the beginning of the year for Chinese culture which coincides with the rebirth of nature. An anniversary and a party that is the most important and the longest in China and which involves the entire population in a kaleidoscope of lights, colors and lanterns. Here’s everything you need to know about Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year 2021: when does it start?

Chinese New Year in Trafalgar Square

© Dave Rushen / SOPA Images / IPA

The date on which the 2021 Chinese New Year kicked off is February 12. In fact, the Chinese New Year, unlike the Gregorian New Year which is always held on January 1st, changes date from year to year in relation to the motion of the moon. For this reason, the New Year can fall between January 21st and February 19th of each year.

Chinese New Year 2021: how long does it last?

The lantern festival in Shenyang

© Sipa Asia / IPA

Another difference with the Gregorian New Year is the duration of the Chinese New Year celebration. In fact, the holiday period extends for 16 days with two important moments: the Spring Festival and the Lantern Festival. The first started on February 12 and will last until February 22, the second will take place between February 23 and February 26.

Chinese New Year 2021: how is it celebrated?

Chinese New Year in New York


The Chinese New Year brings with it a very peculiar iconography with a series of typical decorations that we know by now: festoons, lanterns and flowers. All strictly red: red is a color that traditionally brings luck and prosperity. Obviously, the fireworks that accompany the songs and gongs of the various parades cannot be missing. The sound element is in fact very important in the celebration of New Year as it is used to scare Nian the monster who, according to tradition, wakes up every 12 months and must be chased away. Among the other traditions that should be mentioned there is also that of the exchange of small gifts in (obviously) red boxes. The best way to celebrate Chinese New Year according to tradition, however, remains and is to spend it with the family. Obviously following the anti-contagion rules that, also in this 2021, will redefine the celebrations.

Chinese New Year 2021: what can you eat?

The Chinese New Year in Milan

© Maurizio Maule / IPA

A final mention of the gastronomic side of the Chinese New Year. The typical dish of the Chinese New Year as a good omen is fish which is a symbol of prosperity and must be consumed at the end of the meal. Another lucky dish are the Chinese ravioli which, according to tradition, are like our lentils and bring “money”. The more ravioli you eat, the more money you will have. Another auspicious dish is the rice cake which should bring advances in the field of work. Finally, a hint of fruit: tangerines, oranges and pomelo are the fruits that, more than others, bring good luck

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