Chinese New Year Origins And Traditions


Kira Diep


What is the Chinese new year?
Chinese New Year is a Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia.

It is unclear when exactly the celebration of the New Year began in China. Its celebration is said to have originated from the year-end religious ceremony observed during the Shang Dynasty (1766 BC – 1122 BC). Some believe that the practice began as early as the period of Emperor Yao and Shun’s (~2300 BC) reigns. When the tradition first began, the date of the New Year celebration varied from mid-winter to early spring. However, the maturity of the solar base calendar provided Emperor Wu (157 BC – 87 BC) of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220) with a consistent means to measure a period of a year. Hence, he established the first day of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar as the beginning of the year, and Chinese New Year remains celebrated accordingly to this day.

The lion/dragon dances at the Chinese New Year Festival MT Supermarket

According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the “Year.” The “Year” with the looks like an ox with the head of a lion and was believed to inhabit in the deep sea. On the night of New Year’s Eve, the “Year” would come out to harm animals, people, and their properties. Eventually, people discovered that the “Year” feared the color red, fire, and loud sounds. Therefore, for self-protection, people formed the habits of posting red Dui Lian in front of their houses, launching fireworks, and hanging lanterns at year end


  • Family reunion dinner. Families will gather for sumptuous reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve.
  • Red envelopes.
  • Firecrackers and fireworks.
  • Lion and dragon dances.
  • Decorating.
  • House cleaning.
  • Eating nian gao, mandarin oranges, and dumplings.
  • Praying at the temple.

It’s overall a joyous festival and celebration for Asian culture and anyone can come and enjoy it!