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Chinese New Year Day-by-Day Guide 2023: Celebrations and Activities Explained

January 9, 2023

The time of the year when Singapore gets all excited about the Chinese New Year is almost here. Just like every other year, the sixteen-day-long celebrations will occupy most of our days. From enjoying the Chinese new year's evening to the lantern festival, Singaporeans are always keen not to miss the fun that comes with the Chinese New Year. So here we are with the Chinese New Year Day-by-Day Guide 2023 to break it down for you. Let’s go!

The Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year in 2023 is on 22nd January. Keep this in mind so that you can plan accordingly. 

Preparations and Activities Before the Chinese New Year (30th December 2022- 20th February 2023)

Many Chinese families prefer to prepare for the lunar new year as early as the eighth day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar. In the traditional sense, it is a festival known as Laba, which marks the start of the Spring Festival. The spring festival falls on 30th December this time. On this day, importance is given to praying to ancestors and Door Gods in the hope that it brings good fortune and harvest in the coming year. Laba porridge, Laba tofu and noodles are the main food items that are prepared for this day in most families.

The Little Year (January 14, 2023)

The Little Year is the time that marks the beginning of lunar new year preparations in Singapore families. The preparation involves cleaning homes, setting the goods up, praying to the Stove God, and more. People express their good wishes to say goodbye to the previous year and greet the new year in all the glory.

House Cleaning Day (Jan 15, 2023)

All Chinese families start to carry out a thorough cleaning starting from the 24th day of the twelfth lunar month to set up their homes for the new year. They strongly believe in the tradition of “sweeping away the dust” as for them, it is also a way of putting away old things from homes and bidding adieu to the previous year to make room for the coming year. Sendhelper spring cleaning services are a great relief for people who have to manage their work without compromising on preparations for the Chinese New Year. 

New Year Shopping Time (January 14th to January 20th)

These days will be important for you to buy and stock everything for the new year. Certain things you can make sure that you are getting are snacks, new clothes, new year decorations, fireworks, and gifts for family and friends. Chinese New Year time is a surge time for shopping, just like Christmas time. It is a time when Chinese families never stay thrifty- they spend generously for their homes and people during this time. The Chinese New Year is a good time to gift new clothes to friends and families, and we are familiar with seeing people doing this whether they need it or not. New street markets will start popping up during the days that lead up to the Chinese New Year. 

6 Traditions to Follow on the Chinese New Year's Eve (Jan 21, 2023)

Before we talk about the celebrations and activities based on the Chinese New Year Day-by-Day Guide 2023, let us look into the major traditions to follow on the Chinese New Year's Eve.

Set Up New Year Decorations

You might have seen many families decorating their spaces many days before the festival, but most households choose to do it on the Chinese New Year’s evening. You can see red lanterns, spring couplets, new paintings and cuttings in houses from this day forward for a few days. Keeping decorations for the Chinese New Year is believed to keep evil away from homes. It is also regarded as a prayer for blessing, peace, good health and longevity in the new year.

Offer Sacrifices for Ancestors 

Offering sacrifices to ancestors during the Chinese New Year season to show respect and holiness is a common ritual in Chinese families. As many believe that ancestral spirits protect their descendants so they become more prosperous in life each year. Worshiping them on Chinese New Year's eve before everyone has a reunion dinner is a form of belief that we let our ancestors eat before us. For this, you can place food offerings like meat and wine along with joss sticks and joss paper in front of their shrine or grave. 

Look Forward to Having a Reunion Dinner

Having a reunion dinner with family and friends on Lunar New Year’s Eve is something many would be looking forward to. We know that Chinese families tend to stick to this tradition and that they often travel long distances just for this. There will also be many things one would worry about before hosting a dinner, such as deep cleaning their home. If you are celebrating Chinese New Year at your home in Singapore, this shouldn’t be something to worry about as long as you can book a home service on the Sendhelper App. Our professionals help you clear and tidy up your place for the celebrations. All you have to do is book our deep cleaning service which starts just at $320 to clean up your entire space. 

If you have a big family or gathering, let several generations sit at round tables to enjoy their time having delicious meals together. If you are still deciding what to prepare for the gathering, we suggest you include meals with lucky meanings such as fish, Nian Gao, dumplings, and spring rolls. Many of your family members and friends might have a belief that some foods are symbolic.

Watch CCTV’s New Year Gala Live on Their Youtube Channel

It doesn’t matter whether you live in China or Singapore, watching CCTV’s New Year Gala is one of the favourite things to indulge in for many people after they finish dinner. You can watch it online on their Youtube channel. The program starts at 8 pm (Jan 21st) and ends at midnight. The program is all about pop, traditional, and folk performances of the best singers, dancers, and acrobats in China. 

Gift Red Envelopes to Children 

Elders mostly give children red envelopes with lucky money inside the envelopes. So you can do this if you are at a friend’s place as a guest. Gift them red envelopes after the reunion dinner as it is also a gesture that indicates your wish for them to have good health, growth, and sound studies for the new year. Chinese families mostly believe that gifting money by keeping it inside red envelopes would bring good luck because red is considered to be China’s lucky colour.

Stay Up Late to Celebrate 

The custom of keeping a watch over the year is called shou sui. People used to stay awake all night earlier during the Lunar New Year. You can stay up at least until midnight until the firecrackers and fireworks die down. 

Chinese New Year Day-by-Day Guide 2023

Chinese New Year Day (January 22, 2023)

The Chinese New Year Day-by-Day Guide 2023 begins on January 22, 2023.

Almost all families that celebrate the Chinese New Year believe that whatever activity they engage in on the first day of the Chinese New Year will have a profound impact on their luck for the entire year. Families stay up for this joyful moment and enjoy chatting with each other. 

Wearing New Clothes and Extending New Year Greetings

Chinese families will wear new outfits on the Chinese New Year and say “gongxi” which means greetings or best wishes. As a custom, families visit their elders and spend time with them and wish them good health and longevity. Newer ways of greeting family members, especially elders have appeared since the pandemic. And if you are in a position where you cannot visit them, you can send them a red envelope or greeting card to let them know that they are always in your thoughts. 

Day 2 of the Chinese New Year (January 23, 2023)

The second day of the Chinese New Year is when daughters visit their parents' homes. It is common for people to get gifts for their parents and relatives. It is also the day when people offer sacrifices to the God of Wealth as a wish for a prosperous year. 

Day 3 to 7 of the Chinese New Year (January 24 to 28, 2023)

From the third to the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, most families will start visiting relatives and friends. These will be the days when people become free after the celebrations at their own homes, so it is relatively free time for everyone. People go and visit the tombs of their relatives on the third day. Some people don’t prefer doing it on this day as they believe that evil spirits are roaming around. 

The first house sweep of the Chinese New Year can also happen on this day for people who strictly believe in the traditions of the Lunar New Year. Some people believe that sweeping and cleaning homes during the first two days of the Chinese New Year will also sweep away the luck from their homes as all that remains are the evidence of celebration on the floor. 

Day 8 of the Chinese New Year (January 29, 2023)

It feels normal for people to return to offices and their work from the eighth day of the Lunar New Year. Since eight is a lucky number for Chinese people, most businesses are likely to reopen on this day. 

Now that we have discussed all the main days of the Chinese New Year season, let us tell you something more too. If you are worried about what to gift your loved ones for the season, take a look at our guide for all the gifting ideas and etiquettes for the Chinese New Year. 

Now that you have a detailed Chinese New Year Day-by-Day Guide 2023 on how to celebrate it, it’s time to get your home ready to welcome good fortune and luck. Let Sendhelper take care of your household chores as you gear up to host your family and friends.

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