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Spring Festival 2023: 6 Things You Need to Know

by | Jan 12, 2023

How much do you know about the Spring Festival, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Chinese New Year?

Apart from being the biggest holiday of the year for many Chinese people, who use the opportunity to travel home and see their families, it’s also a wonderful tradition that’s been around for thousands of years.

In this post, let’s look at 6 must-know facts about the Chinese New Year that reflect both its past and present.

 

01. When is Spring Festival 2023?

In 2023, the Spring Festival falls on January 22.

In 2023, the Spring Festival falls on January 22

 

02. What is the “Spring Festival travel rush”?

Spring festival travel rush | That's Mandarin Blog

In China, the phenomenon of “Spring Festival travel rush” is related to the fact that people from the countryside or small towns strive to stay in first-tier cities in order not to miss any lucrative job opportunities. As one of the indispensable attributes of the Spring Festival is family reunion, millions of Chinese people look forward to going back home every year before the Spring Festival holiday starts. One of the main problems they might encounter is purchasing a train ticket in that the majority of people tend to travel by train. As a result, a huge number of travelers can be seen at China’s major train stations when the Spring Festival is around the corner. Some extra trains are put into service every year in order to alleviate the situation of excessive passenger flow.

 

03. How long is the public holiday during the Spring Festival?

Rest | That's Mandarin Blog

The Spring Festival holiday is one of the two national holidays (the other one is the National Day holiday) that provide Chinese people with an opportunity to enjoy a relatively long break. Generally speaking, every Chinese employee is entitled to a 7-day break no matter where they work. However, some people are willing to work overtime during the Spring Festival in case it’s necessary.

 

04. What do Chinese people usually do during the Spring Festival?

Have New Year’s Eve dinner with their families

The Spring Festival is considered the Chinese New Year according to the lunar calendar. One of the traditions that can be observed during the Spring Festival is that Chinese people have New Year’s Eve dinner with their families. For many Chinese people, the Spring Festival turns out to be the only chance to see their families and enjoy the cozy atmosphere at home during the year. Therefore, they cherish the opportunity to sit together with their family members and enjoy a scrumptious meal.

Visit relatives

Strong family bonds are highly valued by Chinese people. Furthermore, maintaining a good relationship with their relatives also plays a tremendous role in dealing with interpersonal relationships. Therefore, many Chinese people spend the first couple of days of the Spring Festival visiting their relatives, and it is especially common in small cities and the countryside.

Travel | That's Mandarin Blog

Travel

Some Chinese people choose to take leisure trips to some of the popular tourist destinations during the Spring Festival. Young people’s desire to widen their horizons and purchase luxury products was the main reason why they loved to travel abroad during the Spring Festival before the COVID-19 pandemic started. However, domestic travelling has gained popularity since 2020 as leaving the country would cause a lot of inconvenience such as centralized quarantine after returning from abroad.

 

05. What do Chinese people traditionally eat during the Spring Festival?

 Dumplings | That's Mandarin Blog

During the Spring Festival, one of the indispensable dishes on Chinese people’s dining tables is Chinese dumplings. Firstly, Chinese people believe that dumplings are auspicious and they can bring good luck in the upcoming year. Secondly, dumplings symbolize family reunion, which is the most important element during the Spring Festival.

 

06. Do Chinese people give out “red packets” during the Spring Festival?

Red Packet | That's Mandarin Blog

In China, red packets are given out on different occasions. During the Spring Festival, it’s considered a tradition to give kids red packets (they are called 压岁钱 yā suì qián) so that they can spend the money on stationery or toys. In another word, red packets can serve as explicit “New Year gifts” for children. Meanwhile, some people in China also give the elderly red packets to wish them good health.

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