Chinese New Year
Where can I find information about Chinese New Year?
Entry last updated: 22/02/21
Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, is now one of the world's most celebrated festivals. It is the longest public holiday in China. Based on the Chinese lunar calendar it usually falls in January or February and involves special celebrations spread over a number of days.
Origin and history
The websites below are a good starting point for information about when Chinese New Year began, the myth surrounding it and its connection to the lunar calendar.
This site has lots of useful information on topics such as history, crafts, traditions, food and greetings.
- Choose Chinese New Year History link from the menu bar on the left to get a brief understanding of when the festival began and the changes made by various dynasties.
This website which is a guide for overseas tourists travelling to China, has a whole section on the history of the Chinese New Year festival, including how to celebrate it.
- Scroll down the page to select the link Chinese New Year found under Chinese Culture.
- Then find history from the menu bar on the left. This page has all the details of the evolution of this festival through the ages till 1948 when this festival became a nationwide public holiday.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.
Articles on this website are written by literature writers and experienced instructors. It has a useful search feature at the top of the page.
- Enter 'Chinese New Year' in the search box and try the link The History of Chinese New Year.
- You will find here folklore, customs and evolution of the celebration.
Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.
Customs and traditions
The websites below will help you understand the preparation, traditions and customs that are followed during Chinese New Year.
Britannica School is part of the EPIC databases that covers lots of different topics, and are put together especially for New Zealand school students. You will find here articles, images and videos on your topic.
- Select the Primary level.
- Enter 'Chinese New Year' in the search box.
- The Chinese New Year article is a good one to explore for this topic.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
This website from Wasai Digital Ventures is all about traditions and customs followed as a part of the celebrations.
- The tabs on the top of the page will take you to information on food, clothes, myths, taboos etc.
- Scroll down the page and you will find other links to decorations, Red Pockets etc.
Tips: Sometimes there is no 'About us' link on a website to tell us who owns the site. In that case we have to look for clues such as company ownership etc. which we can then search on the internet to find out who they are and what are their values. Also dates on a website are useful signs that tells us if the site is current and up-to-date.
This Chinese travel website has useful information about China, its culture and Chinese New Year.
- Go to Culture from the menu bar at the top of the page and select Chinese New Year from the drop down menu.
- This page has information on how to prepare for Chinese New Year and links to related articles on this festival.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!
The One World - Nations Online website is dedicated to art, culture and history of counties around the world. It was created for educational purposes.
- Look for World Regions on the home page, then Countries of Asia and select China.
- Scroll down the page to select Chinese Customs and traditions.
- The link 15-Day Celebration of Chinese New Year explains how Chinese New Year is celebrated from the first new moon day when celebrations begin, to the full moon day (15 days later) when it all ends.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.
There are some great books on the celebration of Chinese New Year- check out your local public or school library to see what they have.
Some recommended titles are:
- Chinese New Year by Lisa J Amstutz.
- Chinese New Year: festival of new beginnings by Terri Sievert.
- Chinese New Year : a celebration for everyone by Jen Sookfong Lee.
- Ruby's Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee.