5 Chinese New Year Traditions

Increase your chances of prosperity by following these traditions.

By Mathew S. Chan
January 26, 2017


Chinese New Year falls on January 28 this year. Are you ready to welcome the Year of the Rooster? This Zodiac animal is said to bring prosperity this year. Here are 5 traditions usually practiced for the Chinese New Year, which are believed to help usher in good luck for everyone.

1.    Spring Cleaning
It is customary to clean the house during the eve of Chinese New Year. Families do this on the days leading up to Chinese New Year as well. Sweep the floors, clean the dishes, and brush away cobwebs in nooks and crannies. The reason this is encouraged is because dust is associated with the “old.” By cleaning, you remove the “old” from your house in order to make space for the “new” things you will welcome in the New Year.  

2.    Decorating with Couplets
Much like during any holiday, families decorate their home to commemorate Chinese New Year. The most common decoration is that of a couplet, which is a red strip of paper with phrases of good wishes written on it. These phrases are sometimes handwritten but are mostly bought in the present age. Couplets are placed on doors and come in pairs or even numbers, which is considered very lucky.

3.    Family Reunions
Having a huge family reunion during dinner is a must on New Year’s Eve. This is probably the most important event of the holiday, and it reflects the importance of family. The usual dishes during the dinner include dumplings, noodles, chicken, and New Year Cake.

4.    Lucky Money
Another part of Chinese New Year involves giving money to children. Parents and grandparents give their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews money in red envelopes (ang pao). It is considered very lucky to give money, and since the envelope uses the lucky color red, the children receive good fortune too. Giving of ang pao typically ends when the children start working, but it varies from family to family.

5.    Staying Up Late
During the eve of Chinese New Year, once the dinner is finished and the lucky money has been given, it is customary for families to stay up all night until the New Year arrives. Children play, and the adults chat the night away until the first bells of the New Year are rung. Today, fireworks and noisemakers are used to welcome the New Year to ward off bad luck and evil spirits.