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Happy Chinese Year of the Sheep!

- February 13, 2015

The Chinese New Year is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar, bringing with it two weeks of celebrations and traditions. Chinese New Year is also known as the ‘Spring Festival’ or the ‘Lunar New Year’.

The Chinese New Year is defined as the first day of the year in the traditional Chinese calendar, and is based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar whose date indicates both the moon phase and the time of the solar year. In 2015 Chinese New Year is Thursday 19th of February.

Each Chinese New Year is associated with an animal name for one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. 2015 is the Year of the Sheep. You can find out more about the year of the Sheep here. You can also find out what your Chinese Zodiac Sign is here.




Many Chinese families spend Chinese New Year by gathering together for a festive meal. Children often receive red envelopes with money (Hong Bao, Ang Pao, or Lai See). Cleaning before the New Year is a tradition in Chinese culture. The grounds, the walls, and every corner of the house need to be cleaned to drive away bad luck to get ready for a new start.



Traditonal Chinese New Year red envelopes


The most common ways of saying Happy New Year in Chinese are:

Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) 

Gung Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese)

The City of Sydney will launch its Chinese New Year Festival tonight, Friday 13th February, at Dawes Point. Highlights of the festival program include an exhibition of the Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors, with 90 Chinese warriors each standing 2.1 metres tall. To find out more, click here.

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