Your Chinese New Year Survival Guide

Holidays can be a stressful time, especially if you don’t know what to expect … We’re here to help you out. Chinese New Year is the celebration of start of the Lunar year, and a time to get together with family and friends. Here are some tips on how to cruise through the customs and traditions like a pro.

  • Chinese New Year Day is on Saturday January 28th this year, with public holidays in Hong Kong from the 28th to the 31st
  • According to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac, 2017 is a year of the Rooster, and you’re a Rooster if you were born in 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005
  • Red is THE color of Chinese New Year as it is believed to be auspicious and lucky, expect to see it everywhere during the holiday period – and don’t be afraid to sport the color yourself!
  • Certain foods such as fish and dumplings are regarded as lucky foods


 While food is a common Spring Festival gift, the predominant gift during this period is a red pocket. These envelopes contain money and are traditionally given to children, seniors, and unmarried adults with the hope of giving them luck for the year ahead. This custom has evolved with the times, as many people are now gifting red envelopes and money digitally through mobile apps. 

Be sure to visit the flower markets open from January 22nd to 28th, with the largest ones in Mong Kok and Victoria Park. Flowers represent good fortune and prosperity, but the markets also sell a wide range of other products such as Chinese New Year themed gifts and food. Most of the vendors are open late. 

Traditionally, spring cleaning should be done before the 28th. For the superstitious, that includes not washing your hair for the first three days of the New Year because it is believed that good luck could be washed away. In order to start the year off right, be sure to dress in your newest clothes on Chinese New Year’s Day. It is also believed that all shopping should be done before the big day, so get your retail therapy in before the 28th!