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As Chinese New Year approaches, we spoke to Hong Zhu and Fang Liu both #KTL Project Coordinators about the traditions of this festival.

Hong Zhu shared, “Chinese New Year 2023 will ring in the year of the Rabbit, one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. Celebrations traditionally last for 16 days, starting from Chinese New Year's Eve to the Lantern Festival. On 21st Jan, #NewYearsEve, the most important celebration, includes the family reunion dinner, and staying up until midnight.”

“On the 22nd Jan, #NewYearsDay, it is a time for visiting/greeting family and relatives, giving presents, and visiting ancestors' graves. On the 23rd Jan, married women visit their parents with their husbands and children. On 5th Feb, #LanternFestival, it 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.”

Food is a huge part of the CNY celebrations. Fang Liu shared, “Families will clean their houses on New Year's Eve, to sweep away any bad luck, and adorn their windows and doors with red papercuts and lanterns.”

Hong Zhu and Fang Liu had similar plans for CNY this year to put up decorations, make dumplings and invite friends to have Chinese dinner together.

There is a tradition to give red envelopes with money to kids and other gifts to ward off evil and augur good health. It is customary to watch fireworks, lion and dragon dances during the festival period.

To learn more about CNY traditions, check out this video by Yoyo Chinese, shared by Hung Zhu:

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