Boutique Hotel

1 night

View List

Classic Chinese New Year Traditions


Traditionally celebrated over a span of 2 weeks, Chinese New Year (CNY) is one of, if not the, biggest holiday in the year especially to Chinese people. Although we in Hong Kong only receive 3 days of Public Holidays (the first 3 days of CNY), families will continue to celebrate before and after. Here are some super classic traditions and activities to ensure good fortune in the coming year. 

Clean Sweep 

Prior to the New Year, it is common for families to do a thorough cleaning of their homes. That means wiping down the windows, sweeping the floors, dusting the furniture, the works. While this may not seem like the most fun task, it sets the tone for the new year as it means washing away any bad luck or misfortunes from the previous year and getting it ready to receive good luck. 

Decorate Your Place 

A picture containing person, indoor

Description automatically generated

You may have noticed that red is the dominant colour that flourishes the entrances and insides of all homes during this time of year. Red is a colour that symbolizes new life and prosperity, so decorate your place with red lanterns, door couplets, and upside down 福 (fook; good fortune) on red paper. Kumquat (柑桔) in Cantonese happen to sound the same as the words for ‘gold’ (金) and ‘good luck’ (吉). So don’t forget to add in a couple of kumquat trees by your door to welcome in wealth, luck, and prosperity. 

All About Family 

A group of people sitting around a table with food on it

Description automatically generated

Family is the cornerstone of Chinese life, so naturally you would want to welcome in the New Year with yours. The Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner and the days following are always spend as a large gathering with generations of the family, enjoying good food and each other’s company. 

Red Packets 

A picture containing person

Description automatically generated

Definitely one of the more popular traditions is receiving red packets containing money from loved ones. Typically, older generations or married couples will give them to children of single people of a younger generation. In terms of how much to give, you’re supposed to give only crisp, clean bills, and giving amounts with the number eight as it symbolizes wealth. Never give amounts with the number four, since in Chinese it is a homophone with the word for death. 

Foods To Eat 

A picture containing food, person, plate, table

Description automatically generated

Another exciting part of CNY is the amazing array of food that is whipped up in the kitchen (whether that’s your kitchen at home or the kitchen in a restaurants). As you may have noticed as a recurring theme already, Chinese people like to do things that represent prosperity or good luck, so naturally they also like to eat foods that have similar meanings. This includes fish (prosperity), dumplings (wealth), tang yuan or sweet rice balls (family/togetherness), and rice cake (greater success). Lastly, make sure to have an abundance of food; having leftovers is actually a good thing as it supposedly enhances your surplus.