18 beautiful photos of traditional Chinese New Year celebrations around the world

Traditional Chinese holidays

Chinese New Year parade
Chinese New Year is the most important among the traditional Chinese holidays.

Also known as Lunar New Year, the holiday is celebrated on the first Monday of the first month on the Lunar calendar, which is based on the moon's orbit, rather than the western Gregorian calendar, which is based on the earth's orbit. This year, the Lunar New Year falls on February 8.
The celebrations are inspired by a famous legend that says the evil beast Nien eats people on New Year's Eve. Since Nien is said to fear loud noises and the color red, celebrants light firecrackers, carry torches, and don red clothing to fend him off.

The celebrations then usually last for 14 more days.

As a way to frighten off Nien, the evil beast, people place red envelopes on their doors, light torches, and set off firecrackers throughout the night.

Children and unmarried adults are given red envelopes with money from their parents, family members, friends, or neighbors. It is believed that these gifts get rid of any evil that might be around the child, and help grant them a long, healthy life. The color red symbolizes good luck.

A few days prior to Chinese New Year, people deep clean their homes and purchase decorations.

Chinese lanterns of all different sizes are placed outside.

Some are even shaped like the Chinese god of fortune.

Fireworks and torches are lit to scare off evil spirits. The first firework that is set off is said to be good luck.

A traditional hand-made candy called matang is popular during the Chinese New Year.

Nian Gao, also known as New Year cakes, are very popular and imply promotion or prosperity for the year to come.

People wear traditional Chinese garb.

Couplets express good wishes and are typically hung up on doors.

A traditional lion dance is performed to bring good luck.

We're currently entering the year of the monkey — there are 12 animals on the Chinese zodiac.

Yusheng is a traditional raw fish dish served for dinner to bring wealth and a long life.

Each year, right at midnight, people rush to be the first ones to place joss sticks in an urn, marking a successful start to the new year.

The New Year's Eve dinner is a big part of Chinese New Year. Usually, this is a family reunion for those who have been away from home.

Dragon dances are also performed to scare away evil spirits. Chinese dragons are central to Chinese culture, and they're considered helpful and friendly creatures.

The dances are wild and sometimes performed under a shower of sparks from molten iron.

Hundreds of lanterns are made for the Lantern Festival, which is held on the last day of the celebrations, ending the Chinese New Year period.


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