When is Chinese New Year?

The Chinese New Year festival starts with the new moon on the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar.

It ends 15 days later with the full moon and is celebrated with the Lantern festival.

Chinese New Year, the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is regarded as the the most important of traditional Chinese holidays.

Chinese New Year celebrations feature visits with friends and families as well as a number of traditional New Year activities.

Red packets containing money to fend off evil spirits are given out by married couples and the elderly to children and young unmarried juniors.

Special markets selling New Year related products are run close to the New Year. Products on sale include toys, clothing, gifts, flowers and decorations for the home.

Firecrackers are used to scare evil spirits during Chinese New Year. Firecrackers and fireworks also signify a joyous occasion and have become integral to Chinese New Year celebrations.

Items of red clothing are commonly worn throughout the Chinese New Year as red is thought to scare off evil spirits and bad fortune. New clothes are also worn to symbolize a new beginning.

Lanterns are lit and paraded around towns by families on the final day of Chinese New Year celebrations (the Lantern Festival).