Home > China Guide > Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year 2020 - The Year of the Rat

Chinese New Year, also known as Chinese Spring Festival or China Lunar New Year, is the most important festival in China. Chinese people call it “Chunjie”.

Dates of Chinese New Year Celebration in 2020: Jan. 24th, 2020 (Chinese New Year's Eve) to Feb. 8th, 2020 (Lantern Festival). Chinese New Year in 2020 falls on Saturday January 25th, being the start of the Year of the Rat. The year ends on February 11th, 2021 according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

When is Chinese New Year/Chinese New Year Dates

Chinese New Year/Spring Festival is based on the Chinese lunar calendar. It begins officially on the first day of the first lunar month (usually in late January or early February) and ends on the 15th day of the first lunar month (the Lantern Festival), thus lasting 15 days.

Year Begins Day Animal Sign
2019 Feb. 5 Tuesday Pig
2020 Jan. 25 Saturday Rat
2021 Feb. 12 Friday Ox
2022 Feb. 1 Tuesday Tiger

Chinese New Year Holidays

Chinese New Year celebrations last 16 days in total (from Lunar New Year’s Eve to Lantern Festival). As a public holiday, however, Chinese people only get 7 days off from work, from January 24th to 30th in 2020. Click Chinese New Year Dates to learn when the Chinese start their Chinese New Year holidays every year.

Chinese New Year 2020 Animal

Chinese Zodiac, or Shengxiao, consists of 12 animal signs. Each of the animal signs is related to the Chinese lunar calendar and starts from Chinese New Year, based on a 12-year cycle. 2020 is the Year of the Rat.

What are some of the Spring Festival Traditions?

Chinese New Year is a time to:

  • get rid of the old and make way for the new;
  • worship Heaven and pray for a bumper harvest year;
  • reunite the whole family and honor the ancestors;
  • participate in all kinds of creativity and having fun…

What with integrating prayers, celebrations and entertainment, Chinese New Year is a grand occasion for the Chinese nation. To this day, apart from activities for worshiping gods, which are downplayed, the major activities and customs for Chinese New Year are well preserved and developed:

Traditional Customs for Chinese New Year

Day-by-Day Celebrations

Chinese New Year starts from the first day of the first lunar month, but the celebrations usually begin from the 23rd or 24th day of the 12th lunar month to the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the first lunar month. The infographic below shows how Chinese people celebrate Chinese New Year day-by-day.

Chinese New Year Day-by-Day Celebrations

Chinese New Year Food

Chinese food is widely known for its variety and abundance. Among its thousands of dishes, there are some with symbolic meanings special for Chinese New Year. For example, fish symbolizes surplus, chicken means good luck, and Tangyuan shows happiness and reunion. Click Chinese New Year Food to know more lucky festive dishes!

Making Tangyuan Making and eating Tangyuan, aka Sweet Rice Balls or Sweet Soup Dumplings

How to Say Happy Chinese New Year in Chinese?

xīn nián kuài lè 新年快乐! Happy New Year!
gōng xǐ fā cái 恭喜发财! Wishing you a prosperous New Year!
hé jiā huān lè 阖家欢乐! Wishing you a happy family!
cái yuán guǎng jìn 财源广进! Wishing you plentiful money and treasures!
zhù nǐ xīn de yì nián wàn shì rú yì
May everything turn out as you wish in the coming year!

How to Be Good Luck on Chinese New Year?

Here is a picture showing what you should not do on Chinese New Year:

Things you should not do during Chinese New Year