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Chinese New Year Calendar 2022: Key Dates and Customs

Chinese New Year Calendar 2022: Key Dates and Customs

Written by CindyUpdated Dec. 1, 2021

Chinese New Year is not just one day but over 30 days of festivities and activities, which have their own calendar. The preparation begins on the first of the Lunar Calendar and the celebration lasts until the 15th of the first month. 

In 2022, Chinese New Year begins on  and ends  with the Lantern Festival.

 

Laba Festival (Jan. 10, 2022): Old Chinese New Year Calendar Start

Traditionally, the start of the Chinese New Year calendar is 'The Laba Festival' (腊八节 Làbājié), which occurs about three weeks before Chinese New Year's Day and is celebrated separately. Religious activities and preparations for Lunar New Year would begin on this day. Now it is seldom celebrated, apart from in very rural communities.

The Tradtional Chinese New Year Calendar: Key Dates

Each day of the 16-day long festival has a name, and usually an assigned purpose or meaning. Below is a table of all the important dates and their meanings. Keep in mind that different regions and minorities may celebrate the days on different dates, or have different names or practices for certain days.

Solar Date (2022) Lunar Date Title Purpose / Meaning
 Jan. 25th  12th month, 23rd day Little Year
(小年 Xiǎonián)
Preparation day, mainly for thorough house-cleaning, and cooking.
Jan. 31st  12th month, 30th day
除夕 (Chúxì)
New Year’s Eve
(除夕 Chúxì)
The most important celebration, includes the family reunion dinner, and staying up until midnight.
 Feb. 1st   1st month, 1st day  
初一 (Chūyī)
New Year's Day
初一 (Chūyī)
A day for visiting/greeting family and relatives, giving presents, and visiting ancestors' graves.
 Feb. 2nd  1st month, 2nd day  
初二 (Chū'èr)
In-Law’s Day
(迎婿日 Yíngxùrì, or
开年 Kāinián)
Married women visit their parents with the husband and children.
 Feb. 3rd   1st month, 3rd day  
初三 (Chūsān)
Day of the Rat
(鼠日 Shǔrì)
An ominous day, common to stay at home and rest with family, play games.
 Feb. 4th   1st month, 4th day
 初四 (Chūsì)
Day of the Sheep
(羊日 Yángrì)
An auspicious day, for prayer and giving offerings, or going to temples or fortune tellers.
 Feb. 5th   1st month, 5th day  
初五 (Chūwǔ)
Break Five
(破五 Pòwǔ)
Commonly accepted as the day when taboos (from previous days) can be broken.
 Feb. 6th  1st month, 6th day  
初六 (Chūliù)
Day of the Horse
(马日 Mǎrì)
Believed to be the best day to get rid of old, unwanted things. Also an acceptable day to resume labor.
 Feb. 7th  1st month, 7th day  
初七 (Chūqī)
Day of Mankind
(人日  Rénrì)
Believed to be the day people were created. Encouraged to spend out in nature.
 Feb. 8th  1st month, 8th day  
初八 (Chūbā)
Day of the Grain
(谷日节  Gǔrìjié)
Good weather on this day will symbolize good crops for the year. Many families will have a second 'mini' reunion dinner
 Feb. 9th  1st month, 9th day  
初九 (Chūjiǔ)
Providence Health
(天公生 Tiāngōngshēng)
The 'Jade Emperor's' birthday. giving offerings, lighting incense, and setting off firecrackers.
 Feb. 10th   1st month, 10th day  
初十 (Chūshí)
Stone Festival
(石头节 Shítoujié)
The birthday of the 'god stone', similar to the previous day's rituals.
 Feb, 11th  1st month, 11th day  
初十一 (Chūshíyī)
Son-in-Law Day
(子婿日 Zǐxùrì)
Fathers are expected to 'entertain' or treat their son-in-laws on this day. 
 Feb.  12th – 14th  1st month, 12th – 14th day  
初十二 - 初十四 (Chūshí'èr - Chūshísì)
Lantern Day Preparations Preparations for the lantern festival: cooking, making lanterns, etc.
 Feb. 15th  1st month, 15th day  
初十五 (Chūshíwǔ)
Lantern Festival
(元宵节  Yuánxiāojié)
Marks the end of the festival. Lanterns are lit and hung or flown, people watch dragon dances in the streets, and children answer lantern riddles.  
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