Chinese New Year in 2021 – Dates and Customs

Holidays and Festivals

Chinese New Year in 2021 is celebrated on 12 February, but the festival actually begins on Chinese New Year’s Eve, with flower markets and large family gatherings. Not only is it celebrated in Greater China, it is also celebrated in communities with large ethnic Chinese populations around the world.

Chinese New Year

Cny dinner (12)
Celebrating Chinese New Year with old friends. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

China is a large and diverse country, and customs and traditions vary from place to place. However, two of the most universal customs on Chinese New Year’s Eve are cleaning house – sort of equivalent to spring cleaning in the West – and having a family reunion at the home of one of the more senior members of the extended family.

poon-choi
Traditional Poon Choi at the Dynasty 8 Chinese restaurant. Photo Credit: Conrad Macao.
Lo Hei is often served at Chinese New Year banquets. Photo Credit: Studio Lounge, Hong Kong Disneyland.
Keeping up with the times, deep fried salted eggs with omnipork at the Ming Court Chinese restaurant. Photo Credit: Cordis, Hong Kong.
Chilled puddings with dried longons, wolfberries, and gold leaf at the Tao Li  Chinese restaurant. Photo Credit: New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel.

Lavish banquets with yummy cuisine is a key feature of family reunions on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

In fact, in many ways, Chinese New Year holds the same cultural significance for the Chinese that Christmas does for people in the West.

To clarify, there are both family reunions and lots of food.

CNY Flower Markets

sheung-shui-chinese-new-year-night-market-entrance
Entrance to the Chinese New Year Night Market in Sheung Shui in the Northern New Territories of Hong Kong in 2020.

reclycling-point-at-cny-flower-market
Recycling Point at the Sheung Shui CNY Flower Market in the Northern New Territories of Hong Kong in 2020. All photos by  Accidental Travel Writer.

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, there are flower markets in most Chinese  cities, towns, and villages. And these markets remain open into the wee hours.

However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the flower markets are likely to be much smaller in scale on Chinese New Year in 2021.

Chinese New Year is also known as Lunar New Year, since its date is based on the lunar calendar. However, in mainland China, it is called Spring Festival, since many traditional Chinese customs were suppressed on the Chinese mainland following the communist conquest of mainland China in 1949.

In addition to Greater China, Chinese Lunar New Year  is also an official holiday in other  countries with large Chinese communities such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

However, the Lunar New Year has other names in yet other countries. For example, the Vietnamese call it Tet. And the Koreans called it Seollal. In fact, both countries were deeply influenced by Chinese culture.

Because  Chinese New Year falls on a Friday  this year, there will be long weekends in many countries, since the second (and sometimes third) day of the Lunar New Year is an official holiday in many of them.

CNY Events in Hong Kong

CNY Fireworks lighting the skies over Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. Photo Credit: InterContinental Hong Kong.

Events celebrating the Lunar New Year usually held all over Hong Kong. Here are 4 of the most important …

  • Lunar New Year Cup 
  • International Chinese New Year Night Parade
  • Lunar New Year Fireworks Display 
  • Spring Festival Horse Races

Because of COVID-19, however, these events may be cancelled in 2021.

Official Holidays in Greater China

Chinese New Year in 2021 is an official holiday throughout Greater China. And it runs from 3 to 7 days.

  • People’s Republic of China  11 to 17 February 2021.  
  • Taiwan (Republic of China)  11 to 16 February 2021.
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region  12 – 15 February 2021.
  • Macau Special Administrative Region  12 to 14 February 2021.

Official Lunar New Year Holidays in Other Countries

In addition, Chinese New Year in 2021 will be celebrated in these countries with large ethnic Chinese communities.

  • Indonesia (Lunar New Year)  12 February 2021.
  • Korea (Seollal) 11 to 13 February 2021.
  • Malaysia  (Lunar New Year) 12 and 13 February 2021.
  • Mauritius  (Spring Festival) 12 February 2021.
  • Philippines  (Lunar New Year) 12 February 2021.
  • Singapore  (Lunar New Year) 12 and 13 February 2021.
  • Vietnam  (Tet) 11 to 16 February 2021.

 Your Response Wanted!

Will you celebrate Lunar New Year? If so, what are your plans?

Please post your comment on Facebook at the following link: Accidental Travel Writer on Facebook. And don’t forget to LIKE us while you’re there!

You Might Also Enjoy …

Chinese New Year’s Day

Leave a Reply