The date of Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, changes each year, but still always falls in January or February.
It falls later than our New Year because it follows the lunar calendar, as opposed to the Gregorian calendar most commonly used in the UK, which is based on tracking the Sun.
Here’s when Chinese New Year 2022 is and what the Chinese zodiac is.
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When is Chinese New Year 2022?
This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 1st, although celebrations will typically last 16 days, starting from Chinese New Year’s Eve (January 31st) until February 15th.
The final day of the celebrations is marked by the Lantern Festival.
Many people celebration this festival by letting paper lanterns off into the sky.
Chinese people will often try and take seven days off work, from January 31st to February 6th, to celebrate fully.
How to say Happy New Year in Chinese
The Chinese language is not written in the same way as the English language, and the two most prominent ways of pronouncing words in Chinese are in Mandarin and Cantonese.
The most common way to wish your close friends and loved ones a happy New Year is: “Xīnnián hǎo”, which is written 新年好.
Xīnnián hǎo literally translates as ‘New Year Goodness’, similar to have a nice day/New Year.
This is pronounced in Mandarin as ‘sshin-nyen haoww’ and Cantonese as ‘sen-nin haow’.
What is the Chinese zodiac and what are Chinese New Year animals?
Each year on the Chinese calendar is linked to one of 12 zodiac animals, each with their own specific characteristics.
This is similar to how each month of the Gregorian calendar is often linked to a zodiac in other countries.
The twelve animals are:
Rat Ox Tiger Rabbit Dragon Snake Horse Goat Monkey Rooster Dog Pig
The animals are assigned in cycles of twelve years, so 2020 was the Year of the Rat, and so was 2008, 1996, and so on.
The cycle is based on an old folk tale called the Great Race.
All twelve animals take part in a race to reach the Jade Emperor.
The order they completed the race is the order in which the years are named.
The Rat won out against the bigger animals by catching a ride on the back of the ox and then jumping off its back at the last minute.
This means the Ox, who had been due to win the race, had to settle for second place and the others fill in the places behind, with the Pig coming last.
What is the Chinese New Year animal?
2022 is the Year of the Tiger. The tiger is known to be king of all beasts in China and comes third in the Chinese zodiac.
The qualities associated with the tiger are competitive, self-confident, brave, willpower and strength.
What Chinese zodiac animal am I?
You can work out your own Chinese zodiac animal by counting through the list above.
We are currently on the third Chinese zodiac animal, the Tiger, which last fell in 2010, 1986, 1974, 1962, and so on.
Next year, you can see it will be the Year of the Rabbit, then the Dragon, and so on throughout the cycle.