Chinese New Year Dates 2016

Chinese new year date 2016

Chinese New Year's Day is the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar. But the date is different each year on the Gregorian (internationally-used) calendar, between January 21th and February 20th. In 2016 it's Monday February 8th.

When Chinese New Year is Celebrated

Officially Celebration — 7 Days (February 7–13, 2016)

It's a public holiday for Chinese. Usually people have 7 consecutive days off from Chinese New Year's Eve to the sixth day after Chinese New Year's Day.

Officially only the first three days of Chinese New Year (February 8–10, 2016) are statutory holiday. Chinese New Year's Eve and three more days are always added to give seven consecutive days of holiday. These four extra days are taken from weekends: the two weekend days closest to the statutory holiday are included, while the Saturday before (February 6, 2016) and the Sunday after (February 14, 2016) are worked.

The most important days of celebration are:

  • Chinese New Year's Eve (February 7, 2016; 除夕 Chúxī /choo-sshee/ 'Excluded Evening' on the Chinese calendar): the day of family reunions
  • Chinese New Year's Day (February 8, 2016; 初一 Chūyī /choo-ee/ 'First One' on the Chinese calendar): the day of (close) family visits and New Year greetings

Most people will return to work on Sunday February 14 or Monday February 15 in 2016.

Chinese New Year Dates 2016 (China's Public Holiday )
February
Day Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Dates 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Traditional Celebration — 23 days (January 31 – February 22, 2016)

fortuneThe character "fortune" is an important Chinese New Year decoration.

Traditionally celebrations start much earlier than Chinese New Year's Eve. Some people start to celebrate three weeks before, the 8th day of the twelfth Chinese month (January 16, 2016; 腊八 Làbā /laa-baa/ '12th lunar month + 8'). More people celebrate from the 23rd of the twelfth lunar month (January 31, 2016). They start to clean the house to welcome a new year from then.

Traditionally the end day of the Spring Festival is the fifteenth day of the first Chinese month, February 22, 2016 — the Lantern Festival. Chinese make all kinds of beautiful lanterns and eat sweet glutinous rice balls in sweet soup (汤圆 tāngyuán /taang-ywen/ 'soup round').

Read more on day-by-day celebrations for this grandest of Chinese festivals.

2016 — A Monkey Year

Chinese New Year 2016 will be a year of the Monkey. For people born in a year of the monkey (1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004), 2016 is considered a bad year. See How to Avoid Bad Luck in 2016 If You're a Monkey.

"Monkeys" are witty, intelligent and have a magnetic personality... Read more on the personality, career, and love suggestions for those born in Monkey years, and for other Chinese zodiac animals by clicking on the links in the table below.

Chinese New Year Dates for the Next Chinese Zodiac Cycle

Year Chinese New Year Date Day of the week Zodiac Animal
2016 February 8 Monday Monkey
2017 January 28 Saturday Rooster
2018 February 16 Friday Dog
2019 February 5 Tuesday Pig
2020 January 25 Saturday Rat
2021 February 12 Friday Ox
2022 February 1 Tuesday Tiger
2023 January 22 Sunday Rabbit
2024 February 10 Saturday Dragon
2025 January 29 Wednesday Snake
2026 February 17 Tuesday Horse
2027 February 6 Saturday Goat

Why Chinese New Year is Celebrated in Winter

Like Christmas in the other countries, Chinese New Year is China's much-needed winter holiday.

It was set to coincide with the slack time just before a new year of farm work begins, as a time of preparation. Traditionally most Chinese were farmers, so this made sense. Now 55% of China's population is urban (a generation ago it was 25%), but 100+ million return to their rural roots for CNY.

Celebrating a New Working Year and Praying for Good "Harvests"

Lion danceLion dances are a popular Chinese New Year activity.

According to China's traditional solar calendar, which dictates the lunar calendar, the first Chinese "month" is called 'start of Spring'. The farming cycle is set to start some time after this, but it really depends on the location in China. The ground doesn't thaw in some places until March.

During the Spring Festival, Chinese traditionally celebrate the start of a new year of farm work, and wish for a good harvest. This has now evolved to celebrating the start of a new business year and wishing for profits and success in various vocations.

There are also many legends about Chinese New Year, which attempt to provide an origin for several Chinese New Year practices. See the Top 3 Chinese New Year Legends.

Things You Should Know For Chinese New Year Travel

train stationCrowded train station

Holiday Closures

small shops, restaurants, and businesses will be closed for about 10 days during Chinese New year. Some supermarkets may still run during this period, but most close earlier than normal days.

Transportation Problems

During the "Chinese New Year rush" (January 24th to March 3rd, 2016), you may meet some problems in booking flights, trains, and road transportation. Trains and railway stations are particularly overcrowded.

Experience Chinese New Year with China Highlights

Chinese new yearChinese New Year

If you are planning a tour to China during Chinese New Year, let us help you avoid the problems. See our recommendations below for inspiration:

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