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Chinese New Year


Teach English in China with ESLstarter!

Teach English in China with ESLstarter

This is an exciting time of year to be on your teaching in China assignment, so if you’re already there or if indeed, you’re heading over there very imminently (good luck!) then get set to throw yourself into the incredible Chinese New Year celebrations! Here’s everything you need to know beforehand...

  • Chinese New Year 2020 officially begins on January 25th and runs right through to February 4th, this is then followed by the ‘Lantern Festival’ from Feb 5-8th 

  • 2020 is the ‘Year of the Rat’ - In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Rats are also considered to be clever, quick thinking, successful and content with living a quiet and peaceful life 

  • Chinese New Year is known by a few different names including chunjie (春节), or the Spring Festival, as well as the Lunar New Year as it’s also celebrated in North & South Korea and Vietnam too! 

  • Be prepared for firecrackers and lots of them! They are set off at midnight on CNY to ward off monsters and bad luck. They are then set off again in the morning to welcome in the new year and good luck. Many Chinese cities have banned fireworks however Beijing lifted their ban after public outcry and the city skies comes alive with them over three nights if not more. 

  • Be careful, there’s a few things that are considered ‘taboo’ during Chinese New Year and these include:
        Hair cutting (before Feb 2nd)
        Using scissors and knives
        Arguing or swearing
        Saying unlucky words (like death or sick)

    Breaking objects
    Showering (but only on New Years Day, phew!)
    Throwing out garbage or sweeping (before Feb 5th - this is to avoid sweeping away any good luck)


  • Food glorious food! So much food you’ll be fit to bursting! From dumplings to spring rolls and incredible rice dishes too. Then there’s the desserts, and the wine… ok we’re getting carried away now, but seriously! You’ll be spoilt for choice. 

  • Chinese New Year is a fantastic time to get crafty as they go BIG on the decorations. This is a fantastic aspect to bring into your lessons so perhaps look into creating your own ‘window flowers’, word hangings and paintings? In fact, you can find a load of ideas here (https://chinesenewyear.net/decorations/

  • Go red! Red in decor, clothing and even your underwear (apparently!) Red is the colour of the festival and is deemed to also ward off monsters, you’ll see A LOT of red throughout the celebrations. 

Ok, so the only thing left to say is ‘xin nian kuai le’ or ‘Happy New Year’. Be sure to tag us in your new year’s pics on social media, we can’t wait to see them! See our latest China teaching jobs here.

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