Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year banner

Chinese New Year is a very special time for many people.  The Chinese New Year always happens after January 1.  This is because the Chinese used a different calendar long ago.  As a result, Chinese New Year usually falls each year between January 21 and February 20.  The Chinese New Year for 2016 starts on February 8.  Each year of the Chinese calendar is named after one of 12 animals. For example, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey.  Some people think that a person’s character is influenced by which animal’s year they were born in.  For example, people born in the Year of the Monkey are thought of as smart but quick to get angry.


People in China celebrate the Chinese New Year in many different ways.  Several days before the New Year, the family usually cleans the house together.  They put up red paper decorations on the windows and doors.  It is also common to give someone money in a red envelope.  In China, red brings good luck.  It also protects people from bad spirits.  The night before Chinese New Year, the family will gather to eat a big dinner.  Usually, they eat fish.   They might watch or even launch some fireworks.  On Chinese New Year’s Day, it is normal for people to go to special New Year’s markets.  These markets usually sell many different things such as clothing and food.