Chinese new year what you need to know

Chinese new year what you need to know

Chinese New Year 2023 will fall on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023, starting a year of the Rabbit. As a public holiday, Chinese people will get 7 days off from work. 

People normally return to work on the eighth day. As eight is the luckiest number in China, most businesses like to reopen on day 8 of the New Year.

Chinese New Year celebrations are like the equivalent of Christmas, in that it is a huge holiday where many businesses close and people travel to be with their families.

To Celebrate we are doing a sale of our auspicious red bags until Sunday only! No need for a code, go straight to the website.

What year it is this year 2023?

This year is the year of the Rabbit. Rabbit is a tame and tender animal, and swift in move. People born in the Year of the Rabbit usually have soft and tender personality traits. They keep a modest attitude and maintain a pleasant relationship to people around. They will not be irritated easily, and they also avoid quarrels as much as possible.

Do you know anyone born in any of these years? 202320111999198719751963195119391927

The sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope. 

People born in a year of the Rabbit are called "Rabbits" and are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious.

Red packets

Giving out red packets to kids and elders will help cast away the bad luck. 

Red envelopes are given as Chinese New year gifts to children by their parents, grandparents, relatives, and even close neighbours and friends during Chinese New Year as a blessing. Most organisations also gift a red envelope to their employees as a Chinese New Year gift.

red packet

Always give money in even numbers

In the Chinese culture, odd numbers are generally associated with a funeral or death. Hence it is imperative to give red envelopes containing money with even numbers, except when it comes to one particular even number…

Avoid the number 4 while gifting

Although the custom of giving red packets in even numbers is a practice, it is important to note that number 4 is considered unlucky as the homophone to 4 in the Chinese language means “death”. It is also a custom that is widely practised in Korea and Japan. However, giving money in multiples of 8 or ending with number 8 is considered auspicious and lucky.

The money should be crisp and new

The money inside the red packets should be new, crisp notes. This represents the beginning of the new year and a new start with fresh hopes and dreams. Folding the money or giving dirty or wrinkled bills should be avoided.

Wish them good when you hand over the red packet

It is always good to greet/wish someone good when you hand them a red packet. Or write a message that conveys love and blessings. This also brings in warmth and bonding for the two people.

Etiquettes while giving the red packets

Always use both the hands when giving someone a red envelope. The reason is simple, that you give the gift wholeheartedly and bless them with a pure heart. Giving and receiving red envelopes or gifts should always be done with both hands. Also, the recipient of a red envelope should not open it in front of the giver.

What do people do at Chinese New Year?

Clean your house before but not after

In the run-up to the new year people will clean their houses to get rid of dirt, rubbish and other unwanted items. They will redecorate them with red couplets, lanterns, new flowerpots and furniture, and will shop for foodstuffs for banquet specialities.

You should avoid cleaning your house during the Chinese New Year. Washing hair and clothes is also forbidden. If you must sweep during the first three days of the New Year celebration (extremely superstitious Chinese say until the fifth day), it is important to collect the dust in a corner to keep the new arrived good luck inside the house. 

cleaning for chinese new year

Have a family reunion

The New Year is an important family reunion occasion, so those who are living or working far away would return home prior to the holiday. In China this is now known as Chun Yun (春运 Moving in the Spring): tens of millions of people travel on the country's vast public transport systems or via private means, coming home to be with their loved ones.


Everyone would have a thorough bath to cleanse themselves and wash away the bad luck before the end of the year. Children and adults would change into new clothes, new shoes, new outfits for the festive period.

Wash and wear new clothes

At midnight on New Year's Eve, noisy firecrackers would be set off to usher in the New Year. On New Year's Day and the few days that follow, friends would visit each other's homes and offer good luck wishes to each other, exchange seasonal greetings (拜年), where they make a bow with hands folded in front (作揖).

New clothes chinese new year

What kind of food to eat at Chinese New year

Chinese people are really into their food so its quite important symbolically to eat certain foods. There are very specific foods to eat that will bring good luck, as Chinese people are extremely superstitious.

  • Fish — an Increase in Prosperity. ...
  • Chinese Dumplings — Wealth. ...
  • Whole Chicken — 'Luck' and 'Wholeness' ...
  • Chinese New Year Cake — a Higher Income or Position. ...
  • Spring Rolls — Wealth. ...
  • Sweet Rice Balls — Family Togetherness. ...
  • Longevity Noodles — Happiness and Longevity.

Chinese new year Noodles

What do Chinese do at Chinese New Year?

During the Chinese new year celebrations include visiting family and friends, eating good meals together and setting off fire works. They will also go and see celebration performances such as Lion and dragon dances that take place in local parks and squares.

Dragan dances Chinese New Year

Showing respect to Ancestors

During the Chinese New Year holiday, many people spend time offering sacrifices to ancestors shows respect and piety. In addition, ancestral spirits are believed to protect their descendants and help them become prosperous.

Many worship on Chinese New Year's Eve, before the reunion dinner, to show that they are letting their ancestors "eat" first. Offerings of meat, wine, joss sticks, and joss paper are placed in front of the shrine/grave.

Chinese new year shrine

Even if you are not chinese you can still take part in Chinese new year celebrations, so don't be shy, get involved. China has a long history of traditions and celebrations that are open to share with the whole world and different cultures.




Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.