Based on the lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year celebration, also known as Spring Festival, begins on a different date each year and will fall in the range from January 21 - February 20. This year, the 2018 celebration begins on February 16. Chinese families will gather and feast on the New Year's Eve (the reunion dinner) and clean their homes of bad fortune. When New Year's Day comes, showering, sweeping and throwing out garbage is prohibited, so that good luck is not thrown or washed away. They'll be huge celebrations including firecrackers (to scare off monsters at midnight and again to welcome new year and good luck in the morning), red decorations, bell ringing, parades and lion dance watching. According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2018 will be the Year of the Dog.
"Lucky" foods are part of the traditional feast. Each food has a symbolic meaning and some examples are:
Dumplings and spring rolls - wealth
Fish - prosperity increase
Noodles - happiness and longevity
Tangerines and oranges - fullness and wealth
Nian Gao (glutinous rice cakes) - higher income and status
Tang Yuan (sweet rice balls) - family togetherness
It's also known as a time of the largest human migration in the world. Because Chinese New Year's most important element is the family reunion, tens of thousands of folks migrate home to celebrate with family. Children will receive red envelopes filled with money - which symbolize elders passing on fortune to the kids.
Chinese New Year is celebrated around the world. Many cities with large Chinese populations such as San Francisco, New York, London and Los Angeles will have big Spring Festival celebrations. See if there are any near you and enjoy the parades, fireworks, lanterns, and delicious food!