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Chinese New Year Dates 2017

2017-01-14
Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival in China, is the most important traditional holiday in China.

When Is Chinese New Year 2017?

Chinese New Year 2017 is on Saturday, January 28th, 2017.

The Most Important Dates of Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year's Eve: the day of family reunions
On a Chinese calendar: 除夕 Chúxī /choo-sshee/ 'getting-rid-of evening'
Chinese New Year's Day: the day of (close) family visits and New Year greetings
On a Chinese calendar: 初一 Chūyī /choo-ee/ 'first 1'

How Is the Date for Chinese New Year Determined?
Chinese New Year's Day is the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar.

The date is different each year on the Gregorian (internationally-used) calendar, but is always between January 21th and February 20th.

Rest Before a New Farming Year

Chinese New Year was set to coincide with the slack time just before a new year of farm work begins, as a time of preparation.

When most Chinese were farmers this made sense. Now 55% of China's population is urban (a generation ago it was 25%), but 100+ million return to their rural roots for CNY.

Chinese traditionally celebrated the start of a new year of farm work, and wished/prayed for a good harvest. This has now evolved into celebrating the start of a new business year and wishing for profits and success in various vocations.



The Traditional 'Start of Spring'

China's traditional solar calendar's first solar term is called 'Start of Spring', hence the "Spring Festival" — another name for Chinese New Year.

'Start of Spring' precedes the start of spring weather for much of China, starting about February 5, and the lunar calendar year always starts within half a month of that.

How Long Is Chinese New Year Holiday?

The Official Holiday — 7 Days

Chinese New Year
The standard public holiday for (Mainland) Chinese is the 7 days from Chinese New Year's Eve to day 6 of the lunar calendar new year (January 27 – February 2, 2017). 

(China Highlights will be officially on holiday during this period, and back at work on Friday, February 3, though you can still reach our 24/7 hotline numbers, and on-duty travel advisors.)

Officially only the first three days of Chinese New Year are statutory holiday. Chinese must work the two weekend days closest to the statutory holiday to "make up the work time".

Most people will return to work on Chinese New Year day 7. That's Friday, February 3 in 2017. We have more on China's Public Holiday Schedule 2017/2018.

The Traditional Holiday Period — 23 days

Chinese New Year fu on a doorSticking 福 (meaning 'fortune') on doors is a tradition at Chinese New Year.
An Early Start to Celebrations



Traditionally new year activities may as early as three weeks before Chinese New Year's Eve, but a week before is more usual.

Traditional (mostly rural) folk start cleaning their houses to welcome a new year from the 23rd of the twelfth lunar month (January 20, 2017).

A Later Finish to the Holiday

Traditionally the end of the Spring Festival (the Chinese New Year holiday) is the Lantern Festival — Chinese month 1 day 15 (February 11, 2017). Then beautiful lanterns are displayed and sweet rice dumpling soup is eaten.
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