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
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.
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
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
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.
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