Happy Chinese New Year: The Year of the Snake

Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快樂!

Happy Year of the Snake! People born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, and 2025 are born in the year of the Snake. According to Chinese legend, Snake was the sixth animal to arrive at the Jade Emperor’s palace, so he got the sixth year in the zodiac named after him. Snakes are known for being materialistic, diligent, creative, wise, and intelligent.

Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival, or 春節. It starts on the first day of the Lunar New Year on the Lunar Calendar. The festival then runs for fifteen days, which makes it the longest festival on the lunar calendar. During this time, many go to the temple to worship the gods and ask for peace, happiness, and health for the year ahead of them. On the Gregorian calendar (the one that we use in the United States), Chinese New Year always falls somewhere between January 21st and February 20th.

This New Year’s festival is celebrated by many countries and territories, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Macau, Philippines, Mauritius, and Chinatowns everywhere. If you ever visit Chinatown during the New Year’s celebrations, you will experience quite a delightful sight.  People will run through the street doing dragon dances while others prepare for their own celebrations. Red and gold decorations will be in shops and homes everywhere. You may even hear drums and other traditional Chinese instruments being played. The entire place is in a frenzy of excitement!

There are many traditions associated with Chinese New Year. For example, people put red paper on their doors and set off firecrackers because in “The Legend of Nian”, people put red paper on their doors and set off firecrackers to scare off the monster that came to their village every New Year. Family members all eat a dinner together with foods that represent good luck for the New Year. For instance, dumplings represent wealth, noodles represent long life, and fish represent an increase in prosperity. For dessert, people eat year cakes, which symbolize prosperity. Afterwards, elders give younger children and unmarried people red envelopes filled with money.

Happy Year of the Snake! May your year be filled with good fortune, happiness, and prosperity!


Important Chinese New Year Words and Phrases

新年快樂 Happy New Year

紅包 Red Envelope

年糕 Year Cake

年 Year

春節 Spring Festival

蛇 Snake

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