Happy Chinese New Year – 2020 is the Year of the Rat

The Chinese New Year 2020 starts Saturday, January 25 and ends on Saturday, February 8, 2020. Sometimes known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, it marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle.

nian at chinese new year parade

Let’s take a look at some of the traditions.

  • Spring cleaning of the home and wardrobe gets rid of any bits of bad luck from the previous year.  After that, no cleaning for a while to be certain that you don’t clear out the good luck. 
  • During a Chinese New Year celebration, red is everywhere because it’s a deterrent to the nasty, bad guy lion-like monster named Nian. In fact, Nian is afraid of red.
  • Because Nian is also fearful of them, you’ll definitely see fireworks and ceremonial dances.
  • Another tradition is the gifting of small red envelopes filled with 8 coins. As a matter of fact, it’s a popular way to wish your friends and family good luck in the coming year.
  • A Chinese New Year party means authentic Chinese food will be served.
  • The year 2020 is the year of the Rat. Read about the Chinese New Year zodiac animal signs and what they mean to you.
Chinese New Year is a time to gift coins to friends and family in a red envelope.
A red envelope is considered a way to share pleasant thoughts.
Although $100 would be splendid, 8 coins are the tradition.

How can we enjoy the lunar festivities?

If you’re in New York City, Chicago, or San Francisco you’ll have access to some of the United States’ best Chinatown Lunar New Year celebrations. To be sure, you won’t have to go far to see great parades, shops, restaurants, and temples all ringing in the New Year.

If you’re not able to visit Chinatown, why not put together a Chinese New Year party of your own? However, don’t forget to include some of the traditions listed above for an authentic feel.

By the way, if all that partying has you feeling a little peaked, check out this Dance Safari post, “5 Health and Wellness Goodies I’m Never Without“.

Wishing you the best in this Chinese New Year of the Rat!

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