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You are here: Home > Chinese Festivals Calendars & Info > Chinese New Year > Chinese New Year Customs

Chinese New Year Customs

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  • In preparation for the New Year, a Chinese New year custom usually done is cleaning the house.  This is to  get rid of the old, and bring in the new. No cleaning is done Chinese New Years Day, since luck is believed to arrive with the New Year.  Sweeping might "sweep away" the New year's luck.  

  • Another Chinese New Year custom is for all the family to gather together during Chinese New Year's Eve.  The families usually eat together.  Fish is a favorite dish symbolizing prosperity.  Dumplings, since they look like gold nuggets, is a symbol of prosperity.  Oranges are for wealth, and tangerines are for good luck, so there will often be a stack of them. Red Apples are also a good luck symbol. Plum Blossoms are a symbol of Spring because they bloom even in winter.  Chinese restaurants do a great business this day in the US. 

  • In Taiwan and China, it is custom to have several days of holiday on Chinese New Year so forget doing any business those days.   Prepare ahead for transactions you have to do, like banking and buying needed items.

  • 2, 6, and 8 are considered to be lucky numbers.  4 is avoided, since it's an unlucky number. Red is considered a lucky color and is worn this day.
  • New clothes are often worn for the Chinese New Year.
  • Another Chinese New Year custom is getting a haircut before the new year.
  • On New Year's Day, everyone is careful on how they act since this is setting an example for the rest of the year (not a good day for an argument).  It's a day to be super positive.  No ghost stories. Don't break anything.
  • Another belief is not to use sharp cutting objects during the first day of the year.  Knives and scissors should not be used, so there is no cooking or hair cutting allowed for the day.
  • Red Decorations (such as the Spring Symbol) are throughout the house.  Red is a lucky color.
  • A distinct Chinese New year custom is the Lion Dance. These dances are believed to scare away bad spirits.  The noise from Fire crackers are also believed to scare away the bad spirits.  The Dragon in a parade is the symbol of strength.
  • The Lantern Festival features lanterns in different shapes to scare away evil spirits.

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Lion Dancer - Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year
Lion Dancer - Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year
Our Price: $4.99
Sale Price: $3.99
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Story of Ernie and his performing in his first Lion Dance in New York City.  Color Photo's with English text.  Very nice.
Celebrating Chinese New Year: An Activity Book (Paperback)
Celebrating Chinese New Year: An Activity Book by Hingman Chan (Paperback)
Our Price: $7.95


Celebrating Chinese New Year is a fun-filled craft, activity and resource book for the Chinese New Year.

Great resource book for families to learn Chinese traditions and culture.

Cooking with Kids - Exploring Chinese Food, Culture, and Language
Cooking with Kids - Celebrating Chinese New Year, DVD for kids!
Our Price: $19.95
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  • Cook a special Chinese meal surprise for your family this Chinese New Year!
  • A cooking feature for kids, by kids
  • A fun way to learn Mandarin Chinese tones, words, and phrases.For ages 8-12

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