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Fun Family Activities to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

Last updated: February 9, 2024, at 2:41 p.m. PT

Originally published: February 10, 2021, at 2:02 p.m. PT

Chinese Dragon Illustration

Lunar New Year, also called the Chinese New Year, begins on the first day of the new moon that lands between January 21 to February 20 in celebration of the beginning of the new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in China and is celebrated worldwide by those of Chinese descent. In 2024, the Spring Festival begins on February 10 and runs through February 17.  

February 10 marks the beginning of the year of the Dragon. In Chinese culture, The Dragon, also known as Loong, is the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac. Dragons are often considered to be symbols of energy, positivity, and optimism.

The Chinese New Year is associated with several customs that vary regionally throughout China. Some customs include passing out red envelopes to family that contain money in order to pass along good fortune and blessings to loved ones, wearing the color red to scare away evil spirits and bad fortune, eating of traditional foods, such as long noodles to symbolize long life, parades and displays of fireworks can also be part of the celebration. Try making this Chinese pellet drum, called the Bolang Gu, as drums and noisemakers are a big part of the celebration! 

The most important part of the Chinese New Year is the family reunion. People will travel throughout China to gather with their families for the New Year’s Eve dinner.

Celebrate Lunar Year by tuning in to the Bellevue Lunar New Year celebrations or checking out the children’s book, A New Year’s Reunion by Yu Li-Qiong, a sweet story told by a young child named Mao-Mao about her family's celebration of Chinese New Year and her annual reunion with her father.