Chinese New Year 2024

This year’s Chinese New Year will fall on Saturday 10th February.  Chinese New Year 2024 is the Year of the Dragon.

The date of the Chinese New Year changes every year, as it is decided by the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which is based on the cycles of the moon and sun and is generally 21–51 days behind the Gregorian (internationally-used) calendar.  Chinese New Year always fall between 21st January and 20th February and is a new moon day, usually the second after the winter solstice.

Celebrations of Chinese New Year traditionally last for 16 days, starting from Chinese New Year’s Eve to the Lantern Festival. The most notable dates of the Lunar New Year 2024 are these three days:

  • Chinese New Year’s Eve on 9th February 2024
  • Chinese New Year’s Day on 10th February 2024
  • The Lantern Festival on 24th February 2024

Each of the 16 days has a name, and usually an assigned purpose or meaning:

9th February 2024 – Chinese New Year’s Eve – the most important celebration, includes a family reunion dinner, and staying up until midnight.

10th February 2024 – New Year’s Day – A day for visiting/greeting family and relatives, giving presents, and visiting ancestors’ graves.

11th February 2024 – In Laws’ Day – Married women visit their parents with their husbands and children.

12th February 2024 – Day of the Rat – An ominous day, common to stay at home and rest with family, play games.

13th February 2024 – Day of the Sheep – An auspicious day, for prayer and giving offerings, or going to temples or fortune-tellers.

14th February 2024 – Break Five – Commonly accepted as the day when taboos (from previous days) can be broken.

15th February 2024 – Day of the Horse – Believed to be the best day to get rid of old, unwanted things. Also an acceptable day to resume work.

16th February 2024 – Day of Mankind – Believed to be the day people were created. Encouraged to spend time out in nature.

17th February 2024 – Day of the Grain – Good weather on this day will symbolise good crops for the year. Many families will have a second ‘mini’ reunion dinner.

18th February 2024 – Providence Health – The Jade Emperor’s birthday, giving offerings, lighting incense, and setting off firecrackers.

19th February 2024 – Stone Festival – The birthday of the ‘god stone’, similar to the previous day’s rituals.

20th February 2024 – Son in law Day – Fathers are expected to ‘entertain’ or treat their sons-in-law on this day.

21st February 2024 – Lantern Day Preparations – Preparations for the lantern festival: cooking, making lanterns, etc.

22nd February 2024 – Lantern Festival – Marks the end of the festival. Lanterns are lit and hung or flown, people watch dragon dances in the streets, and children answer lantern riddles.