Chinese New Year 2016 is on Monday 8 February.
The date of Chinese New Year is based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, not the Gregorian calendar, but is always somewhere in the period from January 21 to February 20.
In 2016, most Chinese will be off work 7 days from Sunday, February 7 (New Year's Eve) to Saturday, February 13 (Chinese New Year day 6).
2016 — a Monkey Year: Watch Out "Monkeys"!
2016 is a year of the Monkey according to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle. Other Monkey years include: …1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004… If you were born then, you are a Monkey. Each Chinese zodiac year begins on Chinese New Year's Day.
Why Do People Celebrate Chinese New Year?
Chinese people believe that a good start to the year will lead to a lucky year. Chinese traditionally celebrated the start of a new year of farm work, and wished for a good harvest (when most were farmers). This has now evolved to celebrating the start of a new business year and wishing for profits and success in various vocations.
The main traditional celebrations of the festival include eating reunion dinner with family, giving red envelopes, firecrackers, new clothes, and decorations. More modern celebrations include watching the CCTV Gala, instant message greetings, and cyber money gifts.
A Festival for Family - Chinese New Year is a time for families to be together. Wherever they are, people come home to celebrate the festival with their families.
The New Year's Eve dinner is called "reunion dinner", and is believed to be the most important meal of the year. Big families of several generations sit around round tables and enjoy the food and time together.
Decorating Buildings, Houses, and Streets with Lucky Red Items:
Every street, building, and house where CNY is celebrated is decorated with red. Red is the main colour for the festival, as it is believed to be an auspicious colour. Red lanterns hang in streets; red couplets are pasted on doors; banks and official buildings are decorated with red New Year pictures depicting images of prosperity.
Most of the decoration is traditionally done on Chinese New Year’s Eve.
As 2016 is the year of monkey, decorations related to monkeys will be commonly seen. There are red monkey dolls for children and New Year paintings with monkeys on.
Eating Lucky Foods for Increased Luck in the Year Ahead:
Certain foods are eaten during the festival (especially at the New Year’s Eve dinner) because of their symbolic meanings, based on their names or appearances.
Fish is a must for Chinese New Year as the Chinese word for fish sounds like the word for surplus. Eating fish is believed to bring a surplus of money and good luck in the coming year.
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