Chinese New Year 2021: When is Chinese New Year? When is the Lantern Festival?

Chinese New Year: Each Zodiac sign explained

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, with people getting ready to celebrate the Year of the Ox. Despite 2021 beginning more than a month ago, the Chinese New Year isn’t celebrated until mid-February each year.

The date for Chinese New Year changes each year, and it always falls between January 21 and February 20.

The date is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar, following the movements of the Moon.

Each year in the Chinese calendar is marked by one of 12 animal signs.

The year 2020 was the year of the rat, while 2021 is the year of the Ox.

Read More: Rooster 2021 zodiac horoscope: What your Chinese zodiac sign means 

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When is Chinese New Year? When is the Lantern Festival?

This year, Chinese New Year will fall on Friday, February 12th.

Chinese New Year is not only celebrated in Mainland China, but also in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and some other Asian countries.

The festivities may be pared back somewhat this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Celebrations can last up to 16 days with the first seven days – February 11 to 17 – recognised as a public holiday.

Preparations for the new year will begin on Thursday, February 4, 2021, and last until New Year’s Eve.

The weeks of festivities culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 26, 2021.

Chinese New Year is typically celebrated by the putting up of decorations, and eating a large reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve.

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Fireworks are also a large part of celebrations, as well as the gifting of red envelopes containing money.

The colour red is regarded as lucky in Chinese culture.

The year 2021 is the year of the Ox, and those born in the year of the Ox are said to be honest, earnest and often hide their talents.

Oxens don’t seek praise, they are kind and rarely lose their tempers.

What is the Lantern Festival?

Preparations for the Lantern Festival will begin on February 23, with the festival itself having a history spanning more than 2,000 years.

Buddhism was popular in China during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), and to further increase observance one of the emperors gave an order to light lanterns in the imperial palace.

The aim was to worship and show respect for Buddha on the 15th day of the first lunar month.

During the dynasties which followed – the Tang (618 – 907), Song (960 – 1279), Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 1911) lighting lanterns became a tradition for Chinese people.

In modern times during the festival red lanterns can be seen in the street, in each house, and store.

In parks and along streets lanterns of various shapes and types attract countless visitors, with the lanterns often depicting traditional Chinese folklore.

Often spotted along the streets is the lion dance, and performers walking on stilts.

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