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Chinese New Year 2023

By Oluwatomiwa Ogunniyi
23 January 2023   |   9:03 am
For some people, the new year begins when the calendar turns from December 31st to January 1st. However, some others celebrate the new year on a different day. The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, celebrates the start of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar.…

Members of the Chinese community perform a lion dance as they welcome the Lunar New Year of the dog at the China town area in Kolkata on February 16, 2018.<br />The Lunar New Year marks the start of the Year of the dog on February 16.<br />/ AFP PHOTO / Dibyangshu SARKAR

For some people, the new year begins when the calendar turns from December 31st to January 1st. However, some others celebrate the new year on a different day.

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, celebrates the start of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. It is celebrated in many Asian countries although not all. It is also celebrated globally in countries like New York where they dedicate a whole week-long celebration featuring fireworks, music concerts, and cultural festivals.

Here is all you need to know about the Chinese New Year in 2023 and what it represents.

When is the Chinese New Year in 2023 and how long is it?

It will be on Sunday, January 22, 2023, and it ends on Sunday, February 5, 2023.

The Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture celebrated in countries like Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. In Indonesia, South and North Korea, it is celebrated as an official festival.

The Chinese New Year is based on a different calendar than the Gregorian calendar which many western countries use. It falls around a month after the Gregorian calendar.

The calendar is based on the moon’s 12 phases with each phase lasting 29 days and the full calendar is around 354 days long. The first day of the Chinese New Year is called the Spring Festival and the final day is the Lantern Festival which is held on the 15th day of the year.

The Chinese New Year lasts longer than one day and is celebrated throughout many Asian cultures, however, the ways and days vary in each country. In Thailand, it is celebrated in three days, in Malaysia, it is a two-day holiday, in Singapore, it is also a two-day public holiday and in China, it spans 15 days.

The Year of Rabbit and some new year traditions

In the Chinese Zodiac, there are 12 animals each with its attributes and characteristics; the year 2023 is the Year of Rabbit which will be following the year of Tiger (2022), and succeeding is the Year of Dragon (2024). The sign of rabbit is a symbol of longevity, prosperity, and peace
in Chinese culture.

Members of the Chinese community pray a the community temple as they welcome the Lunar New Year of the dog at the China town area in Kolkata on February 16, 2018.<br />The Lunar New Year marks the start of the Year of the dog on February 16.<br />/ AFP PHOTO / Dibyangshu SARKAR

The rabbit is the fourth animal in the Chinese zodiac and it symbolizes grace, beauty, mercy, and good luck. Rabbits are also associated with the moon, because of the mythical Jade Rabbit who lives there.

The new year is associated with different myths and traditions as the festival was formerly a time to honour deities and ancestors. People often decorate their houses, windows, and doors with red paper ornaments and lanterns, they also give red envelopes stuffed with money.

During the festival, many people take the time to spend time with family and friends, prepare for the new year, and to practice cultural customs.

People will thoroughly clean their houses to get rid of the bad luck from the previous year and to make way for incoming good luck.