January ushers in the traditional Western New Year and February the Chinese New Year. In 2023, Chinese New Year begins on January 22nd. You will find the biggest observances in countries and territories including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and even Mauritius! However, any country with a significant Chinese community will hold regional celebrations. Start your year off “in the know” with these three fast facts on Chinese New Year or Spring Festival as it is commonly known:
1. Calm, courageous, and agile!
Chinese New Year 2023 will mark the beginning of the year of the Rabbit, which is the fourth sign in the Chinese zodiac. If the Rabbit is your sign (you were born in 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023), calm and composed. Chinese astrology says that the fourth sign of the Zodiac signifies courage, organization, agile thinking, and open-mindedness.
2. Timing Matters
Chinese New Year takes place on January 22nd-February 5th this year. But, that’s not the whole story. Typically, families come together for a special “reunion dinner”on New Year’s Eve (January 21st) to kick off the holiday period. And the Spring Festival period officially ends with the Lantern Festival on February 5th, marking the first full moon night on the Chinese calendar.
3. Happiness Wrapped in Red
While gifting money in red envelopes is not a custom restricted to Chinese New Year, it is definitely the most popular time for it. These money-filled red envelopes (always use new money bills!) are known as hongbao in Mandarin and lai see in Cantonese. They are traditionally given to children, employees, and elders. If this feels old-fashioned, don’t worry, there’s an app for it. According to this article, in 2020 over 823 million users exchanged red envelopes via China’s popular messaging app WeChat!