Chinese Lunar New Year-Dates and Foods

Written by Matteo Updated Jan. 12, 2024

The Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is an important festival celebrated by billions across Asia. It is a vibrant holiday that embodies the rich cultural heritage of the East, signifying the start of a new lunar year and the arrival of spring.

What is Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is based on the lunar calendar, which is calculated by the movement of the moon .

New Year's Day is also called New Moon Day in the lunar calendar when people cannot see the moon on the Earth, because it is located in the position between the sun and the Earth.

When is Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year 2024 takes place on February 10th. The dates of this festival are different every year but almost fall in January and February.

How Long is Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year usually lasts about 14 days from the Chinese Little New Year to the Lantern Festival.

In the period of the Lunar New Year, people are going to hold many activities to celebrate this cheerful festival.

Lunar New Year Holiday (Chinese New Year Holiday)

In China, the Lunar New Year holiday is also called the Chinese New Year holiday. Chinese people have a holiday for 8 days from Feb. 10, 2024, to Feb. 17, 2024.

During the period of the holiday, one of the major activities is to pay a visit to the grandparents' home to show sincere love and wishes for them. Meanwhile, children usually receive red envelopes from their grandparents.

chinese lunar new year traditions
Pay a visit to your mother-in-law during the Spring Festival.

Differences Between Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year are essentially the same holidays, celebrated by different names. The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a traditional Chinese holiday that marks the start of the Lunar calendar and brings families together for feasting, gift-giving and cultural activities.

The Chinese New Year is celebrated with many activities, involving red paper cutting, fireworks, dragon dance and lion dance.

More details about the differences between the Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year.

Lunar New Year Calendar

Year Chinese Lunar New Year Date Chinese Lunar New Year Holiday Chinese Zodiac Sign
2024 Feb.10 (Saturday) Feb. 10-17 Dragon
2025 Jan. 29 (Wednesday) Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 Snake
2026 Feb. 17 (Tuesday) Feb. 16-22 Horse

Who Celebrate Lunar New Year

This festival is not only celebrated in China but also in other Asian countries, such as Vietnam and Korea.

In Vietnam, the Lunar New Year, also known as Tết Nguyên Đán, is a time of great enthusiasm. Families come together to perform house cleaning, adorn their homes with red paper, and prepare delicious dishes for reunion dinner. It is a good time to appreciate fireworks with partners at night.

In Korea, the Lunar New Year, also known as Seollal, is also a momentous occasion. It's marked by family reunions, feasting and visits to the temple. Colorful traditional costumes and wonderful performances add vitality to the celebration, while red envelopes are exchanged as a token of good wishes. Similar to other Asian countries, the Koreans believe that good luck will come in the new year.

Read more on Lunar New Year celebrations around the world.

Lunar New Year Traditions

chinese lunar new year traditions
Enjoy reunion dinner with families.

Lunar New Year is celebrated with family reunions, giving red envelopes(hongbao) to children, and a feast of traditional dishes. The Lunar New Year lasts for 15 days, with each day having its special significance and traditions.

One of the most important traditions is to pay a visit to one's elder to show respect and give good wishes for the coming year. The Lunar New Year is a time for family reunions and blessing prosperity in the coming new year. Besides, people usually decorate red color in their houses to repel evil spirits.

Here are more about top Chinese New Year activities.

Lunar New Year Foods

The Lunar New Year is celebrated with a variety of traditional foods that are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Some of the most popular Lunar New Year foods include fish, which represents abundance and surplus in Chinese culture, and Tangyuan, a sweet dish that symbolizes family reunion.

Other foods include spring rolls, dumplings, and niangao, which are prepared for family gatherings and feasts. The foods are not only delicious, but also carry significant cultural and symbolic meaning for Chinese people.

See more on Chinese New Year foods.

Lunar New Year Meaning

The Lunar New Year is expected by every Chinese who saves money in cities far away from home to support the family for almost a year to reunite with their families. The Lunar New Year holiday is long enough for people to accompany their children, so the holiday is a memorable moment for them.

There is a prevalent saying in China: go home to have a Lunar New Year holiday whether wealthy or poor.

When is the Lunar New Year 2025

Lunar New Year 2025 falls on Jan. 29, 2025, which is the year of the Snake. The dates of the Lunar New Year are different every year, but almost take place in January or February.

You May Want to Read

Create My Trip

Need Help?

Request a custom itinerary today and get one step closer to your personalized trip

Create Your Trip