Chinese New Year, one of the most important events in the lunar calendar. Every year, millions of people all around the world celebrate Chinese New Year. However, Chinese New Year celebrations in different parts of the world have evolved to match the cultures of the country they are being celebrated in. As such, here is how people all over the world celebrate Chinese New Year!


Hong Kong and Macau

Hongkong Fireworks
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Every year, the people of Hong Kong and Macau get three-four days off work to celebrate the Lunar new year. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, families will gather for the annual reunion dinner. After which, most families will head to their local flower markets to shop for peach blossom, daffodils or kumquat trees.

On the first day of Chinese New Year, many elders will head to the temple early in the morning to pray for prosperity and health for the upcoming year. Visitation of friends and relatives also occurs. During visitation, Lishi (red packets)  are given out to children as a blessing for the new year. There is also an annual firework show on either the second or third day of the Lunar New Year.

Taiwan

Taiwan Chinese New Year
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In Taiwan, the Chinese New Year are very similar to that of the Fujian Province in mainland China. Customs like pasting couplets, wearing new clothes and giving money for good luck are still kept. However, the Taiwanese do have their own way of celebrating the new year.

The Chinese New year reunion dinner in Taiwan is known as Weilu, which means seating around the stove. As indicated by its name, Taiwanese usually have hotpot on new year’s eve! The sharing of food over a single pot is symbolic for family harmony and longevity. Additionally, two sugarcanes are usually placed on each side of the main door/gate, indicating their wishes for a better year ahead.

Singapore

Singapore Chinese New Year
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In Singapore, the way of celebrating Chinese New year has evolved quite a bit. However, most traditions and customs have been kept. During the Chinese New Year, a salad dish made out of sashimi slices, chips and various shredded vegetables is prepared.

This dish is known as Yu Sheng and it is tossed together in a ceremony called lohei. Family member all gather round the platter and begin to toss the salad together using chopsticks. The higher the salad is tossed, the more blessings will come in the year ahead.

Often, during this festive period, there will be traditional Lion dance performances to chase bad luck away. There is also an annual fire cracker ceremony hosted in Chinatown on new year’s eve to usher in the new year, especially since Singaporeans can’t set off fire crackers in their own homes. When visiting relatives and friends, Singaporean will exchange a gift of two oranges with their host to wish each other good luck. New Clothes, new shoes and new sheets are bought and worn during the Chinese new year period.

Read More: 30 Cool Chinese New Year Greetings To Say Instead Of Gong Xi Fa Cai

Philippines

Philippines Chinese new year
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In the Philippines, there are about 100 million Filipino-Chinese. Most of these Filipino-Chinese come from  the Fujian Province of Mainland China, so their traditions and way of celebration are similar. On the first day of Chinese New Year, no cooking is done. But people eat the leftovers from the day before instead. This is because they believe that doing so will allow them to have more than they need in the coming year.

Apart from the usual customs of giving out red envelopes and lion/dragon dances, the people will also hang eight round-shaped fruits in their houses as decoration. These fruits include pineapples, oranges, apples, grapes, mangoes, lemons, watermelons and papayas. Nian gao, a sweet rice cake, is also served up as a staple food during this period.

Vietnam

Vietnam CNY
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In Vietnam, the Lunar New Year is widely known as Tet. Celebrated nation wide, the Vietnamese way of celebration is very different from the other celebrations. In Vietnamese, the main festival food, is Zongzi which is a round or square shaped ball of glutinous rice wrapped in reed or bamboo leaves.

Also, peach blossom plants and Kumquat plants are often purchased and displayed to ward off the evil spirit as well as to pray for good fortune. The Vietnamese have a special tradition called Xong Tet. This refers to the good or bad luck brought into the household by the first visitor. As such, the first visitor’s personality and life condition forebodes the host’s luck in the coming year. Thus most people will invite an honest, decent or rich man to come for a visit to act as the first visitor.

America

NYC CNY
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In America, the Lunar festival is mainly celebrated in quarters and communities where a large amount of Chinese people reside in. Also many traditions and customs have not been preserved and have become simplified. People do get together with their families for a simple meal and enjoy parades which feature dragon and lion dances. Often the streets are adorned with lanterns and colourful banners, with the people participating in the parades playing drums and setting off firecrackers to liven up the festive mood.

United Kingdom

London CNY
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The Chinese New Year celebrations in London is relatively big due to the huge Chinese population residing there. The Chinese New Year is celebrated annually throughout Chinatown, Leicester and Trafalgar Square. The local Chinese community also usually hold parades and other celebratory events.

Often events such as traditional Chinese music and dance shows are held during this period. Additionally, various Chinese cuisines are sold on the streets alongside, displays of culture and arts such as lanterns and traditional paintings. Fireworks are also set off, adding to the festivities and celebrations.


While we can see that Chinese New Year Celebrations differ from country to country. All of them are held to usher in the new year. Most celebrations and customs are done to bring good luck and prosperity in the upcoming year. And all of the celebrations are a lot of fun!