Chinese New Year is different to the New Year which starts on 1st January because it follows the Chinese Lunar calendar - it is also sometimes called the Lunar New Year. The Chinese New Year starts the day after the first new moon appears between January 21 and February 20 each year - this year it is on the 12th February.
Chinese New Year is celebrated all across mainland China, but also in countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Kong. Chinese communities all around the world also celebrate the festival.
How is Chinese New Year celebrated?
On New Year's Eve people will clean their houses, and put up red decorations and lanterns. Red is considered lucky in Chinese culture. They will also prepare a feast to enjoy with their family on New Year's Eve. They may light fireworks and firecrackers to see the New Year in.
Most years there will be a spectacular New Year parade, similar to a carnival parade where you will see spectacular Chinese dragon costumes, Chinese lions dancing, drums, dancers and lights.
Find out more about the Chinese New Year celebrations in this video from CBeebies:
Chinese Zodiac Signs
The turn of the Chinese New Year marks the new sign of the zodiac. Each year, or zodiac, comes from the year you were born within the Chinese lunar calendar. There are a range of animals represented in the Chinese zodiac as follows: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. Last year was the year of the Rat, so this year is the year of the Ox. The Ox represents hard work, honesty and positivity.
The Chinese New Year celebrations usually last for 16 days and at the end there is a lantern festival. Here is a video from the US which tells you more about the history of the lantern festival.
Over the years, Chinese themes have been represented at Luton Carnival - and many of these costumes would not look out of place at a Chinese New Year parade!
Activities to try
Why not do a fun dragon carnival costume colouring sheet in time for Chinese New Year? You will find it, along with some other colouring sheets, on this page. Alternatively why not make your own Chinese New Year dragon! Watch this simple video how-to. We recommend pausing the video at each stage of the design, to make it easier to follow.