Chinese New Year is celebrated annually at the beginning of the lunisolar Chinese calendar. The New Year is a huge event in China, and festivals occur for fifteen straight days beginning the evening before the turn of the month. The first day of the New Year is decided by the new moon between January 21st and February 20th, meaning that this year’s Chinese New Year began on Monday, February 8th. It is typical for many traditional Chinese dishes such as porridge to be served during festival meals in the days following the turn of the New Year.
The New Year is a several hundred year old tradition, beginning as a festival to honor deities and ancestors. Despite the name, the Chinese New Year is also celebrated in several neighboring countries such as Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia among others. In the evening prior to the New Year, Chinese families will traditionally clean their house in order to rid away with any misfortune or pain lingering from the previous year.