Chinese New Year 2024: the Year of the Wooden Dragon

February 10 marks the start of the Chinese New Year festivities. A year under the aegis of Dragon de bois. The Wooden Dragon, the fifth animal of the Chinese zodiac, is powerful, majestic and intelligent. It’s achance to discover Chinese traditions and enjoy colorful parades and music. If you’re planning to travel to China or live in China, remember to make good resolutions by taking out international health insurance to cover you in China!


When does Chinese New Year fall in 2024?

The date of the Chinese New Year changes every year, as it is based on the lunisolar calendar. This corresponds to the first new moon of the year. The date was set in the Chinese city of Nanjing, at the Purple Mountain Observatory. In 2024, the date of the Chinese New Year is set for Saturday February 10.

  • Chinese New Year 2023: January 22
  • Chinese New Year 2024: February 10

How is the Chinese New Year calculated?

Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is a tradition that dates back over 4,000 years. This year, it will take place on Saturday, February 10, 2024. This marks the start of the year of the Wooden Dragon, which follows that of the Water Rabbit, beginning on January 22, 2023. In 2024, the year will begin on February 10. The date varies every year, as it is calculated according to the Chinese lunar calendar: the first day of the year must fall on the second new moon after the winter solstice, before the lunar phase of the spring equinox.

Vacations and Spring Festival in China

Chinese New Year is associated with the longest and most important vacation period for the Chinese. This year, the Chinese will be on vacation from February 10 to 17, 2024. The traditional Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival or Guo Nian, in reference to the legend of the Nian monster. It’s one of China’s most important festivals.

What are the Chinese zodiac signs?

There are 12 Chinese astrological signs. Here they are in order of appearance before Buddha:

  • The rat
  • Buffalo (also known as ox)
  • The tiger
  • Cats (also known as hares or rabbits)
  • The dragon
  • The snake
  • The horse
  • Goats (also known as sheep)
  • The monkey
  • The rooster
  • The dog
  • The pig

Which countries celebrate Chinese New Year?

Contrary to its name, this New Year is not only celebrated in China, on the Asian continent. It’s celebrated in many Asian countries, including Vietnam (where it’s called Tet Festival), Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Brunei. A tradition dating back over 4,000 years, Chinese New Year is celebrated over a fortnight, right up to the eve of the Lantern Festival on February 5.

What are the Chinese New Year foods?

Eaten during the New Year’s celebration, foods are chosen for their symbolic good luck value. Fish (Yù, in Chinese), for example, is omnipresent throughout the traditional 16-day holiday period. However, it is best consumed at the family dinner on New Year’s Eve.
Lucky foods for the New Year include :

  • Fish (increased prosperity)
  • Chinese ravioli (very rich)
  • Glutinous rice cake (a higher income or position)

What are the superstitions of Chinese New Year?

Over time, the Chinese became less and less superstitious. However, by pure tradition, they continue to believe that the events of the beginning of the year will affect the whole year to come.

The luckiest things to do during Chinese New Year

  • Offer money and gifts chosen according to the numbers, wrapped in red, colorful, lucky paper and accompanied by wishes for the New Year.
  • On New Year’s Eve, eat the aforementioned food that’s supposed to bring good luck. Be sure to save a few leftovers for New Year’s Day.
  • Fireworks and firecrackers are set off to scare away evil spirits and bring good luck.

The unluckiest things to avoid during Chinese New Year

  • Having an accident, especially if it leads to hospitalization, tears and property damage: all indicate bad omens.
  • Sweeping in on New Year’s Day means blowing all your luck away

In China, we prepare for the New Year in advance. We clean the house, decorate the windows in red and cook. On the same day, the Chinese go to the temple to pray for good luck in the New Year. They also honor their ancestors with offerings. Are you an expatriate in China and want to celebrate like the locals? Get your house ready, dress in Chinese clothes and prepare meals based on Jiu, steamed bites and Chinese ravioli. Don’t miss the parade, which often takes place at weekends, but there may be one on the day itself.

It’s possible to celebrate New Year’s outside China. Thanks to the Chinese diaspora worldwide, Chinese New Year festivities can be seen in many metropolises across the globe. Lucky for you if you live near San Francisco, its Chinese New Year parade is said to be the largest and oldest outside Asia. In Paris, you can enjoy this fabulous show in the 13th arrondissement.


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