Are you ready for the Year of the Dragon 2024? The Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, is the most important and festive occasion in China and among Chinese communities around the world.
It marks the start of a new year based on the lunar calendar, which follows the cycles of the moon. Each year corresponds to one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, which have different traits and fortunes.
In 2024, the Chinese New Year will begin on Saturday, February 10th, and welcome the Year of the Dragon, a symbol of power, strength, and luck.
The CNY is a time of celebration and joy for many people in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines. The Year of the Dragon in 2024 brings with it auspicious energy and rich traditions that are reflected in the vibrant decorations, lively performances, and diverse activities in these cities. Whether you are looking for cultural experiences, festive shopping, or family fun, there is something for everyone during this festive season.
A Guide to the Chinese New Year Holiday Period
The Chinese New Year holiday is a public holiday that spans from the last day of the previous lunar year to the sixth day of the first lunar month. This means that most people can enjoy a week-long break from work or school, except for some essential sectors, such as hospitality and retail, that may have to operate as usual or even cater to more customers.
The school holiday is typically four weeks long, and many people who work away from their hometowns take this opportunity to travel back and spend time with their families.
The dates of the Chinese New Year holiday vary each year depending on the lunar calendar. In 2024, the Chinese government grants eight days of public holiday for this occasion, from February 10th to February 17th.
CNY or Lunar New Year, is a major festival in Malaysia that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the lunar calendar. It is also a time for family reunion and cultural traditions. As Malaysia is a multi-racial country with a large Chinese population, CNY is a public holiday for everyone.
However, according to ecentral.my, the public holiday period for CNY varies depending on the region of Malaysia. For students in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, the holiday lasts from 9 February 2024 to 9 March 2024. For students in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak Selangor; Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur; Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan & Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya, the holiday lasts from 10 February 2024 to 10 March 2024.
In Taiwan, it will be from February 8th to February 14th, while in Hong Kong and Macau, it will be from February 10th to February 17th.
Some other Southeast Asian countries that observe the Lunar New Year, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines, will have shorter holidays ranging from one to three days.
How Long is Chinese New Year 2024?
To prepare for the Year of the Wood Dragon, people clean and decorate their homes with red and green items that bring good luck and ward off evil. They also enjoy a special dinner with their families and watch a popular TV show. They celebrate the new year with fireworks and firecrackers.
On the first day of the new year, people wear new clothes in green or brown colors, with dragon motifs or accessories. They also visit their loved ones and give them gifts, such as money, fruits, or candies. They join in various festivities, such as dragon dances, lion dances, or temple fairs.
The next days are for honoring different gods and deities and visiting different relatives and friends. Some days have rules about what to do or not to do to avoid bad luck.
The festival ends with the Lantern Festival, which is on Feb. 24th. On this day, people look at the moon and light up lanterns of different colors and shapes.
|Solar Calendar Date (2024)
|Name of the Day (Chinese)
|Name of the Day (English)
|New Year’s Eve
|The most important celebration, includes the family reunion dinner, and staying up until midnight.
|New Year’s Day
|A day for visiting/greeting family and relatives, giving presents, and visiting ancestors’ graves.
|Married women visit their parents with their husbands and children.
|Day of the Rat
|An ominous day, common to stay at home and rest with family, play games.
|Day of the Sheep
|An auspicious day, for prayer and giving offerings, or going to temples or fortune-tellers.
|Commonly accepted as the day when taboos (from previous days) can be broken.
|Day of the Horse
|Believed to be the best day to get rid of old, unwanted things. Also an acceptable day to resume labor.
|Day of Mankind
|Believed to be the day people were created. Encouraged to spend out in nature.
|Day of the Grain
|Good weather on this day will symbolize good crops for the year. Many families will have a second ‘mini’ reunion dinner.
|The ‘Jade Emperor’s birthday, giving offerings, lighting incense, and setting off firecrackers.
|The birthday of the ‘god stone’, similar to the previous day’s rituals.
|Fathers are expected to ‘entertain or treat their sons-in-law on this day.
|February 21 – 23
|初十二 – 初十四 (Chūshí’èr – Chūshísì)
|Lantern Day Preparations
|Preparations for the lantern festival: cooking, making lanterns, etc.
|Marks the end of the festival. Lanterns are lit and hung or flown, people watch dragon dances in the streets, and children answer lantern riddles.
The Significance of Chinese New Year of Wood Dragon 2024
In 2024, the CNY falls on February 10th and marks the start of the Year of the Dragon. The dragon is the fifth animal in the zodiac cycle and represents power, strength, and luck. The element for 2024 is wood, which symbolizes growth, flexibility, and creativity. People born in the Year of the Wood Dragon are said to be ambitious, adventurous, and charismatic.
The history of the CNY dates back to ancient times, when people worshipped gods and ancestors at the end of winter and the beginning of spring. They also prayed for a good harvest and a prosperous year. Over time, various customs and traditions developed around the CNY, such as cleaning the house, wearing red clothes, exchanging gifts, setting off fireworks, and enjoying a reunion dinner with family.
The CNY is a time to celebrate life, culture, and heritage. It is also a time to express gratitude, hope, and joy.
The year of the wood dragon in Chinese astrology 2024 will be a lively and stimulating year for all. It will be a year full of possibilities, challenges, and transformations. It will be a year to follow your passions, share your thoughts, and act on them. It will also be a year to show courage, confidence, and optimism.
But the year of the wood dragon will also have some dangers and doubts. It may be a year of fierce competition, conflict, and pressure. It will be a year to be careful, sensible, and realistic. It will also be a year to be flexible, adaptable, and cooperative.
To benefit from the year of the wood dragon, you need to balance your enthusiasm with your wisdom, your ambition with your humility, and your independence with your teamwork.
CNY 2024 in Hong Kong: What to Expect and How to Celebrate
CNY is a time of reunion, tradition, and prosperity. It is also a time of travel, as many people visit their relatives or take vacations. Therefore, you can expect Hong Kong to be very crowded and busy during this period. Some public services and businesses may have reduced hours or be closed, especially on the first three days of CNY. You can check the official website of the Hong Kong Tourism Board for more information on the opening hours of attractions, museums, and public transport.
You can also expect to see a lot of red and gold, which are auspicious colors in Chinese culture. Red symbolizes happiness and good luck, while gold represents wealth and prosperity. You will see red lanterns, banners, flowers, and envelopes everywhere. You may also receive red envelopes (lai see) from your elders or employers, which contain money as a sign of gratitude and blessing. It is customary to give lai see to children, unmarried relatives, and service staff.
You can also expect to hear a lot of greetings and wishes in Cantonese, the main language spoken in Hong Kong. The most common one is “Kung Hei Fat Choi“, which means “Congratulations and be prosperous”. You can also say “San Nin Fai Lok”, which means “Happy New Year”. You can also learn some other phrases, such as “Sun Tai Kin Hong”, which means “Wish you good health”, or “Man Si Yu Yi”, which means “May all your wishes come true”.
How to Celebrate
There are many ways to celebrate CNY in Hong Kong, depending on your preferences and interests. Here are some suggestions:
- The International Chinese New Year Night Parade: A colorful and lively show with floats and performers from around the world. It starts at 8 pm on February 10 at Tsim Sha Tsui and ends at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. You can watch it along the route or book a seat at the spectator stands.
- The Lunar New Year Fireworks Display: A stunning display of fireworks over Victoria Harbour. It takes place at 8 pm on February 11 and lasts for about 25 minutes. You can watch it from various locations, such as Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Central Harbourfront, Golden Bauhinia Square, or from a boat cruise.
- The Flower Markets: Temporary markets that sell flowers and plants for CNY decoration. The most popular one is at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, but there are also others in Mong Kok, Sha Tin, Yuen Long, and more. You can find various types of flowers, such as orchids, peonies, narcissus, chrysanthemums, and more. The most symbolic ones are peach blossoms and kumquat trees.
- The Temple Fairs: Cultural events that showcase traditional arts and crafts, folk performances, games, food stalls, and more. They are held at various temples across Hong Kong, such as Wong Tai Sin Temple, Che Kung Temple, Man Mo Temple, and more. You can join the locals in praying for blessings, burning incense, making wishes, or just enjoying the festive atmosphere.
How Lunar New Year 2024 Will Be Is Celebrated in Different Cities :
- In Singapore, people enjoy a spectacular display of lights and decorations along Chinatown, and watch the Chingay Parade, which features floats, dancers, and performers from various ethnic groups.
- In London, people flock to Trafalgar Square and Chinatown to witness the largest CNY celebration outside Asia, with a grand parade, stage shows, food stalls, and crafts workshops.
- In Sydney, people admire the Lunar Lanterns exhibition, which showcases giant sculptures of the 12 zodiac animals along the harbour. They also join the Dragon Boat Races, which are a thrilling spectacle of speed and teamwork.
- In New York, people participate in the Lunar New Year Festival at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which offers a variety of activities, such as calligraphy, painting, storytelling, and martial arts. They also attend the Chinatown Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival, which features live music, dancing, and vendors.
Chinese New Year Dates for 2025, 2026, 2027
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a movable celebration that varies from year to year based on the lunar calendar. Here are the dates for Chinese New Year in 2025, 2026, and 2027, along with the zodiac animals associated with each year:
|Chinese New Year Date
|Wednesday, Jan. 29
|Jan. 28 to Feb. 3
|Tuesday, Feb. 17
|Feb. 16 to Feb. 22
|Saturday, Feb. 6
|Feb. 5 to Feb. 11
Next, we invite you to browse our complete Chinese New Year guide:
- Feng Shui Tips To Celebrate the CNY 2024 & Prosperity Bowl 2024
All You Need To Know About The 2024 Chinese New Years Decorations
- How to Dress for Chinese New Year 2024 for Good Luck
- CNY Reunion Dinner 2024 & Lucky Foods
- CNY Desserts , Fruits, and Drinks
- CNY 2024 Superstitions & Taboos
- CNY 2024 Fun Games & Activities for Kids and Families
- Top 5 Destinations to Celebrate Chinese New Year 2024
- 100+ Chinese New Year 2024 Wishes & Greetings , the meaning of Kung Hei Fat Choy & Gong Xi Fa Cai
- Xin Nian Kuai Le 2024: Greeting Meaning & Downloadable Images
History of Chinese New Year – History of Chinese New Year – Timothy S. Y. Lam Museum of Anthropology (wfu.edu)
The Origin of Chinese New Year – (PDF) The Origin of Chinese New Year | Haiwang Yuan – Academia.edu
Steven Chen is a professional tarot card reader, astrologer & feng shui master, the author of 2 books that are published in several languages. He also posts articles about astrology and feng shui on Facebook and Medium.