This is our second blogpost on Chinese New Year 2018, the first one was about Chinese New Year traditions. This post is about the stories of the First 3 of 15 Days of Chinese New Year, and what you can do in London.

Today is the first day of the new year according to the lunar calendar, widely known as Chinese New Year, and celebrated all around the world. In China, and many other countries, company doors are locked, schools are on holiday and banks are closed. People are either at home with families, or joining the ever increasing number of Chinese tourists travelling abroad to celebrate.

Today is not the end of New Year celebrations though, it’s only the beginning. Traditionally Chinese New Year celebrations run for 15 days. Here is our quick guide to the first 3 of those days, and how you can join the festivities.

Learn to Lion Dance on Day 1 (Photo by Steve Rhodes)

Spring Festival (Day 1)

Friday 16th February 2018

Traditionally in China

A day to spend with your family, especially in honouring parents and grandparents. It’s a must to set off fireworks, firecrackers and anything that makes a noise. People visit family members and friends to congratulate them on the new spring. Married couples give presents of money in red envelopes, or hóng bāo, to younger relatives to show they care about their future.

What can I do?

Get in the Chinese spirit by learning to Lion Dance to cleanse any bad spirits or cooking up some dan dan noodles.

Sacrifice to the God of Wealth on Day 2 (photo by Choo Yut Shing)

Fast-breaking Day (Day 2)

Saturday 17th February 2018

Traditionally in China

The second day is all about business and wealth. People make sacrifices to the God of Wealth, Cái Shén, to ensure commercial success in the new year. Families would offer 5 whole animals as sacrifice: a pig, a goat, a chicken, a duck and a live red carp.

In my experience, families in modern-day China avoid turning their homes into petting zoos. Many people choose a few of these meats to base a meal around instead.

What can I do?

Increasingly Chinese tourists sacrifice to the God of Wealth by shopping abroad. Why not do your own bit of exotic shopping at the Chelsea Chinese New Year Market.


Avoid rice on Day 3 (Photo by oarranzli)

The Birthday of Corn (Day 3)

Sunday 18th February 2018


This day is about preparing to go back to work, so fitting that it’s on a Sunday this year .  Traditionally the decorations put up in preparation for New Year’s Day are cremated. Out with the old, in with the new I suppose. Historically this day is believed to be the birthday of corn, so many households won’t eat rice.

What can I do?

This year the 3rd day falls on a Sunday, so many cities have their Chinese New Year celebrations on this day. Check out Visit London’s guide for what’s happening around the capital.