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CNY 2024 – Animal, Public Holiday Period & Celebrations

CEO Khai Intela
Are you excited for the upcoming Year of the Dragon in 2024? The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is an incredibly significant and joyous occasion in Chinese culture. It marks the...

Are you excited for the upcoming Year of the Dragon in 2024? The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is an incredibly significant and joyous occasion in Chinese culture. It marks the beginning of a new year based on the lunar calendar, with each year associated with one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. In 2024, the Chinese New Year will start on Saturday, February 10th, ushering in the Year of the Dragon, a symbol of power, strength, and luck.

The Chinese New Year is widely celebrated in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. These countries are filled with vibrant decorations, lively performances, and diverse activities that reflect the auspicious energy and rich traditions of the Year of the Dragon. Whether you're looking to immerse yourself in cultural experiences, enjoy festive shopping, or have fun with your family, there is something for everyone during this festive season.

A Guide to the Chinese New Year Holiday Period

The Chinese New Year holiday period is a public holiday that lasts from the last day of the previous lunar year to the sixth day of the first lunar month. This means most people get to enjoy a week-long break from work or school, except for essential sectors like hospitality and retail. The school holiday typically lasts for four weeks, allowing people who work away from their hometowns to travel back and spend time with their families.

The Chinese New Year holiday dates vary each year based on the lunar calendar. In 2024, the Chinese government has granted eight days of public holiday, from February 10th to February 17th, for this significant occasion. However, the holiday period may vary depending on the region. For example, students in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu in Malaysia will have a holiday ranging from February 9th to March 9th. On the other hand, students in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, and Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya will enjoy a holiday from February 10th to March 10th.

In Taiwan, the holiday period will be from February 8th to February 14th, while in Hong Kong and Macau, it will span from February 10th to February 17th. Other Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines will have shorter holidays ranging from one to three days.

How Long is Chinese New Year 2024?

To prepare for the Year of the Wood Dragon, people clean and decorate their homes with red and green items that bring good luck and ward off evil. A special dinner is enjoyed with family, and a popular TV show is watched. The new year is welcomed with fireworks and firecrackers.

On the first day of the new year, people dress in new clothes, usually in green or brown colors and adorned with dragon motifs or accessories. They visit their loved ones and give gifts, such as money, fruits, or candies. Festive celebrations include dragon dances, lion dances, and temple fairs.

The celebration continues with each day dedicated to different gods and deities, and visiting relatives and friends. Some days have specific rules to follow or avoid to ward off bad luck. The festival concludes with the Lantern Festival on February 24th, where people light lanterns of various colors and shapes while marveling at the moon.

The Chinese New Year dates for 2024 are as follows:

  • February 9: New Year's Eve (Chúxì)
  • February 10: New Year's Day (Chūyī)
  • February 11: In-Law's Day (Chū'èr)
  • February 12: Day of the Rat (Chūsān)
  • February 13: Day of the Sheep (Chūsì)
  • February 14: Break Five (Chūwǔ)
  • February 15: Day of the Horse (Chūliù)
  • February 16: Day of Mankind (Chūqī)
  • February 17: Day of the Grain (Chūbā)
  • February 18: Providence Health (Chūjiǔ)
  • February 19: Stone Festival (Chūshí)
  • February 20: Son-in-Law Day (Chūshíyī)
  • February 21-23: Lantern Day Preparations (Chūshí'èr - Chūshísì)
  • February 24: Lantern Festival (Chūshíwǔ)

The Significance of Chinese New Year in the Year of the Wood Dragon 2024

In 2024, the Chinese New Year falls on February 10th, marking the beginning of the Year of the Dragon. The dragon, as the fifth animal in the zodiac cycle, represents power, strength, and luck. The element associated with 2024 is wood, symbolizing growth, flexibility, and creativity. People born in the Year of the Wood Dragon are said to be ambitious, adventurous, and charismatic.

The history of the Chinese New Year dates back to ancient times when people worshipped gods and ancestors during the transition from winter to spring. It was a time to pray for a good harvest and a prosperous year. Over time, various customs and traditions developed, including cleaning the house, wearing red clothes, exchanging gifts, setting off fireworks, and enjoying a reunion dinner with family.

The Chinese New Year is not just a celebration; it is a time to honor life, culture, and heritage. It is an opportunity to express gratitude, hope, and joy.

The year of the wood dragon in Chinese astrology for 2024 will be a lively and stimulating year for everyone. It will be filled with possibilities, challenges, and transformations. It will be a year to pursue your passions, share your thoughts, and take action. However, it is important to be cautious of the potential fierce competition, conflicts, and pressures that may arise. Balancing enthusiasm with wisdom, ambition with humility, and independence with teamwork will help make the most of the year of the wood dragon.

CNY 2024 in Hong Kong: What to Expect and How to Celebrate

Chinese New Year is a time of reunion, tradition, and prosperity. It also attracts a significant number of travelers, as people visit their relatives or take vacations. Therefore, Hong Kong is expected to be crowded and bustling during this period. Some public services and businesses may have reduced hours or be closed, particularly on the first three days of the Chinese New Year. You can check the official website of the Hong Kong Tourism Board for more information on the opening hours of attractions, museums, and public transportation.

During Chinese New Year, you can expect to see a sea of red and gold, which are considered auspicious colors in Chinese culture. Red represents happiness and good luck, while gold symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Red lanterns, banners, flowers, and envelopes will be seen everywhere. You may also receive red envelopes (lai see) containing money as a sign of gratitude and blessing from your elders or employers. It is customary to give lai see to children, unmarried relatives, and service staff.

You will hear plenty of greetings in Cantonese, the main language spoken in Hong Kong. The most common greeting is "Kung Hei Fat Choi," which means "Congratulations and be prosperous." You can also say "San Nin Fai Lok," which means "Happy New Year." Learning a few more phrases like "Sun Tai Kin Hong" (Wish you good health) or "Man Si Yu Yi" (May all your wishes come true) will help you join in the festive spirit.

How to Celebrate

There are various ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, depending on your preferences and interests. Here are some suggestions:

  • The International Chinese New Year Night Parade: This colorful and lively show features floats and performers from around the world. The parade starts at 8 pm on February 10th at Tsim Sha Tsui and ends at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. You can watch it along the route or book a seat at the spectator stands.

  • The Lunar New Year Fireworks Display: Witness a breathtaking display of fireworks over Victoria Harbour. The fireworks take place at 8 pm on February 11th, lasting for about 25 minutes. You can watch the spectacle from various locations, such as Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Central Harbourfront, Golden Bauhinia Square, or even from a boat cruise.

  • The Flower Markets: Don't miss the temporary markets that sell flowers and plants for Chinese New Year decorations. The most popular one is at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, but you can also find them in Mong Kok, Sha Tin, Yuen Long, and other locations. These markets offer a wide variety of flowers, including orchids, peonies, narcissus, and chrysanthemums. Peach blossoms and kumquat trees are particularly symbolic.

  • The Temple Fairs: These cultural events showcase traditional arts and crafts, folk performances, games, food stalls, and more. Various temples across Hong Kong, such as Wong Tai Sin Temple, Che Kung Temple, and Man Mo Temple, host these fairs. You can join the locals in praying for blessings, burning incense, making wishes, or simply enjoying the festive atmosphere.

How Lunar New Year 2024 Will Be Celebrated in Different Cities

Chinese New Year is celebrated worldwide, and each city has its unique ways of commemorating this special occasion. Here are some highlights:

  • Singapore: Enjoy a spectacular display of lights and decorations along Chinatown and witness the Chingay Parade, which features floats, dancers, and performers from various ethnic groups.

  • London: Visit Trafalgar Square and Chinatown to experience the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside Asia. You can indulge in a grand parade, stage shows, food stalls, and crafts workshops.

  • Sydney: Admire the Lunar Lanterns exhibition, showcasing giant sculptures of the 12 zodiac animals along the harbor. Join in the Dragon Boat Races, a thrilling spectacle of speed and teamwork.

  • New York: Participate in the Lunar New Year Festival at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, offering a variety of activities such as calligraphy, painting, storytelling, and martial arts. Attend the Chinatown Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival, featuring live music, dancing, and vendors.

Chinese New Year Dates for 2025, 2026, 2027

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a movable celebration that changes from year to year based on the lunar calendar. Here are the dates for Chinese New Year in 2025, 2026, and 2027, along with the zodiac animals associated with each year:

  • 2025: Wednesday, Jan. 29 - Celebration Period: Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 - Year of the Snake
  • 2026: Tuesday, Feb. 17 - Celebration Period: Feb. 16 to Feb. 22 - Year of the Horse
  • 2027: Saturday, Feb. 6 - Celebration Period: Feb. 5 to Feb. 11 - Year of the Goat

We invite you to explore our complete Chinese New Year guide, which includes Feng Shui tips, prosperity bowl ideas, information about decorations, how to dress for good luck, reunion dinner traditions, lucky foods, desserts, fruits, drinks, superstitions, fun games and activities for kids and families, top destinations to celebrate, wishes and greetings, and more.

Celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Dragon with joy, enthusiasm, and openness to the possibilities that lie ahead. May it bring you good fortune, happiness, and prosperity!

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