2021 is Chinese Year of the Cow. The Chinese New Year is on Friday, February 12, 2021. According to Chinese Horoscope calendar, 2021 Year of Cow begins on February 3, 2021. Everything about Chinese New Year celebration, decorations, songs, food, parades, activities, stories, horoscopes and Chinese Lantern Festival will list in this Chinese New Year article.
Chinese New Year is the first day of the first lunar month of Chinese calendar year. The Chinese New Year is always between January 20 to February 20 of the Gregorian calendar each year. The preparation to celebrate the Chinese New Year festival begins around 8th day of 12th lunar month. The last day of the Chinese New Year festival is on the 15th day of first lunar month. That means it is required about three weeks to prepare the festival and 15 days to celebrate it. Traditionally, a Chinese man works outside for living and his wife takes care everything inside home. A month is not long enough for a housewife to clean entire house, put new interior and exterior decoration, prepare new clothes and gifts for all family members, and food for many events. You can image that Chinese New Year festival combines Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year together.
Chinese New Year Dates in China Time Zone - Coming Years
2021 is the year of the White Metal Cow. 2021 Chinese New Year Day is on Friday, February 12, 2021.
2022 is the year of the Black Water Tiger. 2022 Chinese New Year Day is on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.
2023 is the year of the Black Water Rabbit. 2023 Chinese New Year Day is on Sunday, January 22, 2023.
2024 is the year of the Green Wood Dragon. 2024 Chinese New Year Day is on Saturday, February 10, 2024.
2025 is the year of the Green Wood Snake. 2025 Chinese New Year Day is on Wednesday, January 29, 2025.
2026 is the year of the Red Fire Horse. 2026 Chinese New Year Day is on Tuesday, February 17, 2026.
Chinese New Year Culture Background
To understand more about 15-day Chinese New Year festival, we need to know some Chinese culture background first. Thousands of years ago, China was mainly an agriculture society. Each year, the dynasty government announced annual calendar for farmers. The calendar contained the solar, lunar and weather information for people to know when to seed, plant, harvest on their land and even when to work, rest, pray and celebrate for their activities. Obviously, farmers know they count on sky for their living. The sky is connected to heaven and heaven is related to religion. The major activity of the religion is to pray to gods for good luck, wealth, health, wisdom, career, longevity, peace, happiness at temple or home.
The religion for most Chinese today is mixing Buddhism and Daoism together. Buddhism was imported from India. Daoism is Chinese domestic. The founder of Daoism is credited to Lao-Tse (Laozi), who wrote famous Dao Te Ching, the Classic Book of the Way and Its Virtue? around 604-531 BC. Taoism books say there are 36 heavens and 36 grounds in the universe. There are hundreds of gods and goddesses as well as saints and immortals living in the heavens and grounds. The Original Supreme God lives in the 36th heaven. The Spiritual-Treasure Supreme God lives in the 35th heaven. The Ethics-Virtues Supreme God, who had once the incarnation to Lao-Tse, lives in 34th heaven. They are top three Gods in the Taoism (Universe).
The Jade Emperor lives in the 33rd heaven. He is the king of gods and in charge of 33 heavens. Therefore Jade Emperor is one of the important gods who are worshiped or prayed in the many Chinese family.
Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year for 15 days long, from Chinese New Year Day to Chinese lantern Festivl. Chinese need to prepare for Chinese New Year's eve and festivals about one month long. The following is the list of the important events of Chinese New Year before and after. Most Chinese New Year events are based on Chinese Lunar Days. The events before Chinese New Year's eve might fall in the December.
December Events to Chinese New Year's Eve
- 8th day of 12th Lunar Month: Rice Porridge Day
In memory of the Shakyamuni Buddha's Enlightenment Day.
- 16th day of 12th Lunar Month: Last Free Dinner
To worship the God of Local Land and treat employees free dinner.
- 24th day of 12th Lunar Month: Farewell Day of God
Farewell Day for the God of the Stove to have a good trip to heaven.
- 25th day of 12th Lunar Month: Clean Day
Cleaning House Day and make decorations for Chinese New Year.
- 26th day of 12th Lunar Month: Cake Day
Making Nian-Gao and Fa-Gao cakes for Chinese New Year.
- 27th day of 12th Lunar Month: Shopping Day
Purchasing food, poultry, fish, sausage and wine for Chinese New Year reunion dinner.
- Around 23rd of December: Winter Solstice
It's Chinese Tang-Yuan Che. Eating Tang-Yuan on the Winter Solstice.
- Last Day of 12th Lunar Month: Chinese New Year's Eve
Chinese New Year's Eve is the night of Chinese family reunion for abundent hot-pot dinner. Red Envelope of lucky money for children.
Chinese New Year Spring Festival, 15-Day Celebrations
- 1st day of first Lunar Month: Chinese New Year Day
- 2nd day of first Lunar Month: Day of Son-In-Law
- 3rd day of first Lunar Month: Mice Wedding Day
- 4th day of first Lunar Month: Welcome God of Stove
- 5th day of first Lunar Month: Welcome God of Wealth
- 6th day of first Lunar Month: Big Pig Competition Day
- 7th day of first Lunar Month: The Human Day
- 8th day of first Lunar Month: The Completion Day
- 9th day of first Lunar Month: Birthday of King of Heaven
- 10th day of first Lunar Month: The Eating Day
- 11th day of first Lunar Month: The Break Day
- 12th day of first Lunar Month: The Diarrhea Day
- 13th day of first Lunar Month: Anniversary of General Kuan
- 14th day of first Lunar Month: The Lantern Decoration Day
- 15th day of first Lunar Month: Chinese Lantern Festival