Hop Into 2023 Chinese New Year Of The Rabbit

By Melissa Shrader Editor Publisher Fort Collins Macaroni KID January 16, 2023

Chinese New Year 2023 Year Of The Rabbit

Chinese New Year is based on the Lunar year which means, every year the date varies between late January to Mid February.

This year is the year of the Rabbit celebrated on January 22, 2023 and will be the year of Hope. 

 There is a rich history around the origins of the celebration. 

There was a mythical beast Nian (/nyen/), who ate livestock, crops, and even people on the eve of a new year. To prevent Nian from attacking people and causing destruction, people put food at their doors for Nian. There was a wise old man who figured out that Nian was scared of loud noises - hence firecrackers - and the color red. Red lanterns, red scrolls in windows and dressing in red are for protection. Early on people would crack bamboo and make noise to scare Nian, later the tradition of firecrackers began. 


Today the celebration focuses on a 16 days of tradition. They begin with the "Little Year" from January 14th through January 21st. Then follows the Spring Festival from January 22nd through February 1st. Then finishing off with the Lantern Festival from February 2nd through February 5th. 

New Traditions Do's: 

The Red Envelope is given to children young adults and elders, and contains "lucky money" or "New Year money" to anchor the new year, offer prosperity, longevity, and to transfer luck. 

Initially coins were given in rolls of 100 and wrapped in red to give a hope for longevity to live to 100 years. Later paper money replaced this and currently those giving red envelopes give $5 or gifts in consecutive numbers to represent continuous success. 

There are so many other fun traditions such as putting up red decorations, wearing red clothing, eating reunion dinner with family on New Year's Eve, firecrackers and fireworks, and watching lion and dragon dances.

Tradition Don't: 

Don't say negative words such as death, sick, empty, pain, ghost, poor, break, kill and more. You wouldn’t want to jinx yourself or bring those misfortunes onto you and your loved ones.

Don't break ceramic or glass as breaking things will break your connection to prosperity and fortune. If a plate or bowl is dropped, immediately wrap it with red paper while murmuring auspicious phrases. Ask for peace and security every year or say “broken” or “shattered.” After the New Year, throw the wrapped up shards into a lake or river.

Don't eat porridge for breakfast otherwise you will become poor in the new year.  

No cleaning after Spring Festival begins. Cleaning or throwing out garbage may sweep away good luck instead.

Do not use scissors, knives or other sharp objects. Sharp objects in general will cut your stream of wealth and success.

Do not demand debt repayment, this is to show of understanding. It allows everyone a chance to celebrate without worry. Borrowing money is also taboo. You could end up having to borrow the entire year.

Avoid fighting and crying. This is all to ensure a smooth path in the new year.

Avoid taking medicine during Spring Festival to avoid being sick the entire year. (Keep in mind this is not medically recommended and is just part of our research. Please take your medication as prescribed).

Do not give New Year blessings to someone still in bed. Let the recipient get up from bed first. Otherwise, they’ll be bed-ridden for the entire year. You also shouldn’t tell someone to wake up. You don’t want them to be rushed around and bossed around for the year. Take advantage of this and sleep in!

Lucky things for Rabbits

Colors: red, pink, purple, blue
Numbers: 3, 4, 9
Directions of auspiciousness: southeast
Directions of wealth: northeast, southwest
Directions of love: east

Unlucky things

Colors: brown, gray, white
Numbers: 5, 11

In Chinese culture, rabbits represent the moon. Some say it is because the shadows of the moon resemble a rabbit. Others say it is because of the rabbit’s pure characteristics.

We wish everyone celebrating the Year of the Rabbit a very lucky year!