When is Chinese New Year 2012? 3/1/2011

chinese new year 2012The start of the 2012 Chinese New Year is January 23, 2012. The celebration typically begins on New Year’s Eve with a large party in which family members that have moved away return home to celebrate with traditional food, games and story-telling. The festivities last two weeks and end on the 15th day with the Lantern Festival.

The traditional Chinese Calendar is based on lunar activity and is always the first day of the first lunar month. Because it is based on the moon’s activity, it typically falls on a different day every year.

A good rule of thumb for determining when the next Chinese New Year will fall, is to find the second new moon after the winter solstice. Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and always falls on December 21. The second new moon after that will mark the next Chinese New Year.

This next Year, 2012, is the year of the Dragon. The traditional Chinese zodiac is comprised of a 12 year cycle of 12 different animals related to the Chinese Calendar. People born during the year of the Dragon are said to be brave, honest and trustworthy. The last year of the dragon was 2000.

Want to learn more about the history of the Chinese New Year? View our previous Chinese New Year post with more about how to celebrate and where to go!

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  1. Chinese Character Translator

    Although I’m from the USA I celebrated Chinese New Year in Shanghai in February this year and it was truly exciting and unique! I’m looking forward to celebrating there again next year in the year of the Dragon as I was born in ’88 which was also a Dragon year.

    Mar 10, 2011 @ 12:11 pm