We may have already rung in the New Year here in America, but if you’re looking for some more New Year’s fun, you’re in luck.
The Chinese New Year falls late in February this year. The Chinese New Year follows the lunar calendar, so depending on the year, it can come in late January up until late February. This year, it falls on February 19, but the celebration of the New Year lasts from February 18 until the 24th.
In China, many people start celebrating the New Year several days, even weeks, before it arrives. It has a lot of similarities to the way many people celebrate Christmas in America. In China, the New Year is a time for gathering the family together, spending time enjoying traditions that are passed down from year to year, and exchanging presents. Children are frequently given gifts of money by their elders, and everyone gets new clothes for the celebration. Red is a dominate color during New Year’s festivities, which are also known as the Spring Festival.
Traditions for celebrating Chinese New Year vary around the country depending upon region and various ethnic groups. A few traditions carry over, though. For example, most people in China use the New Year as a chance to clean their homes. The New Year marks a fresh start, so starting the year with an unclean home is considered a bad omen. It’s also considered taboo to say anything about death, sickness, or loss.
If you’d like to visit China for the New Year’s celebration, either to visit family or as a tourist enjoying a different culture, you’ll need to obtain China visas. Fortunately for you, Swift offers the fastest turnaround on visas to China of anyone in the business. We can help you obtain a China travel visa in as little as three business days. We also have a 5-6 day expedited option if you’re not quite so rushed. China now offers tourist visas that last for ten years, so if you get your visa now, you’ll be good to go until the year of the snake! (This year is the year of the sheep or goat, in case you were wondering.)
If this will be your first trip to China, we recommend ringing in the Chinese New Year in Beijing, Xian, or Pingyao. In any of these cities, you’ll have the chance to partake in wonderful local festivals, enjoy traditional holiday foods, and find good luck for the year to come.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.