Chinese New Year 2023: When is it and how to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit?

Written by Kristiyana Burdeva

Get ready for more celebrations, because near the end of January we will be welcoming a new year, the Chinese New Year of 2023! This event is an important celebration for the whole country of China. And not just China, but a lot of other countries like Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and more. The Chinese New Year is a time for people to come together to celebrate and reflect on the year that has passed. It is a time to look forward to the future and appreciate the blessings that we have received. The Chinese New Year of 2023 marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit, so let’s find out together when and how to celebrate it!

When does the Chinese New Year 2023 start?

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This Chinese New Year of 2023 will start on January 22nd (the Chinese New Year) and will end on February 9th, 2024 (the Chinese New Year’s Eve). The date of the Chinese New Year is different every year, but it always occurs between January 21 and February 20. The date is determined by the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which is based on the cycles of the moon and sun and is typically 21–51 days behind the Gregorian (the calendar used internationally). The Chinese New Year falls on a new moon day, which typically occurs two weeks after the winter solstice.

What is the meaning behind the Year of the Rabbit?

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The Chinese New Year of 2023 marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit, or Water Rabbit to be more precise. This is the fifth zodiac animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle. This year is set to be a time of great expectations for the Chinese people as the Rabbit is seen as a symbol of prosperity, luck, and new beginnings. The Rabbit is also associated with peace and longevity. Those who have been born in a year of the Rabbit are said to be witty, quick-minded and alert. These people are calm and avoid getting into fights. The predictions for the Year of the Rabbit 2023 name it to be a time of hope.

How long is Chinese New Year celebrated?

The Chinese New Year is typically celebrated for around two weeks. It begins on the first day of the lunar calendar (Chinese New Year’s Eve) and ends on the fifteenth day. The fifteenth, or sometimes sixteenth day, is known as the Lunar Festival. It marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration, as lanterns are lit and hung or flown. Dragon dances are also performed in the streets.

How to celebrate Chinese New Year?

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There are a number of ways in which you can celebrate the Chinese New Year! Here are some ideas to start with:

Decorations and food

Hang up Chinese-style decorations such as red banners, paper-cuttings, and Chinese knots. Red is a lucky colour in Chinese culture and is believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. You can also set up a traditional altar to honour your ancestors. To celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, why not cook a traditional Chinese dinner for your family and friends? Classic dishes such as dumplings, spring rolls, and tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) are great for the occasion.

Activities and traditions

Setting off firecrackers and fireworks is also an important part of Chinese New Year celebrations. Fireworks are believed to ward off bad luck for the coming year. And last but not least, it is tradition for the Chinese New Year celebration to give red envelopes filled with money as a way of wishing your family and friends good luck and fortune for the year ahead. The money inside is usually a round number, such as 8, 88, or 888.

How do you say Happy New Year in Chinese?

The Chinese language is very different from English, and is not written in the same way. Here are the closest translations and phonetic pronunciations of some “Happy New Year” sayings in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese). The standard “Happy New Year” is written as 新年快乐 / 新年快樂 and translates to “Xīnnián kuàile”. This means “New Year Happiness”. In Mandarin, this phrase is pronounced as ‘Shin-nyen kwhy-ler’. In Cantonese, it is pronounced as ‘Sen-nin feye-lor’. If you want to wish Happy New year in Chinese to a friend or family member, the more informal version would be “Xīnnián hǎo”, written as  新年好. This saying translates as ‘New Year Goodness’. In Mandarin, it is pronounced as ‘sshin-nyen haoww’. In Cantonese, it’s ‘sen-nin haow’.

Chinese New Year 2023 is sure to be an exciting and memorable holiday for everyone in China. Whether you’re planning to visit friends or family, or stay home to celebrate, this is a time for families to come together and honour the traditions of Chinese culture. And if you are looking for some fun Chinese New Year activities to enjoy with your children, why not make some festive crafts with them this year? “Xīnnián kuàile everyone!

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