In today’s holiday-themed trivia, we’re bringing you something special — Chinese New Year trivia questions that promise not just knowledge but a whole lot of fun for you and your loved ones!
Whether you’re a seasoned celebrant of the Lunar New Year or someone new to the traditions, these questions are designed to spark laughter, conversation, and perhaps a bit of friendly competition among the family members too!
Gather the family around, because these trivia questions are not just a chance to showcase your knowledge but an opportunity to bond, reminisce about past New Year celebrations, and create new memories together.
The joy of Chinese New Year is defined by not only in the dragon dances, red envelopes, and firecrackers, but also in the shared moments with family and friends.
Even if you’re not accustomed to celebrating Chinese New Year, these trivia questions offer a delightful glimpse into the customs and traditions that millions around the world hold dear. It’s a chance for you to learn, appreciate, and perhaps incorporate a bit of the Lunar New Year spirit into your own festivities!
Get ready to make this year’s Lunar New Year / Spring Festival celebration the most memorable one yet! If you’re ready, we’re ready. Let’s get started on the trivia!
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Chinese New Year Trivia Questions To Help You Celebrate With The Whole Family
When is Chinese New Year celebrated each year?
Answer: The date varies, falling between January 21 and February 20.
Why is the Lunar New Year date different each year on the Gregorian calendar?
Answer: The date is determined by the lunar calendar, falling on the second new moon after the winter solstice.
Which recent year was the Year of the Rabbit?
What animal follows the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac?
Answer: The dragon.
And how many animals are there in the Chinese zodiac in total?
Answer: 12. There’s the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
What are the five traditional Chinese elements?
Answer: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water.
Which of these is NOT a lucky food commonly eaten for Chinese New Year?
- a) Noodles
- b) Rice balls
- c) Fried rice
- d) Fish
Answer: c) Fried rice. Noodles symbolize longevity, rice balls signify reunion, and fish symbolizes surplus.
True or false: Lunar New Year is not a public holiday in the United States.
Answer: True. Although the Lunar New Year is not a U.S. federal holiday, it is a school holiday in some major cities, including New York and Philadelphia.
Why are oranges, tangerines, and pomelos customarily eaten and used for decor during Chinese New Year?
Answer: Oranges, kumquats, tangerines and pomelos are common Chinese New Year food gifts because they’re believed to bring good luck and happiness. The Chinese words for orange and tangerine closely resemble the words for luck and wealth. The gold color and shape also symbolize prosperity.
What is the legend of Nian associated with Chinese New Year?
Answer: Nian, a mythical beast, would eat livestock, crops, and people on the eve of the new year. People scared Nian away with loud noises and the color red.
In which dynasty did Chinese New Year activities, such as worshiping gods and ancestors, originate — in the Shang, Zhou, or Han Dynasty?
Answer: It is believed that Chinese New Year activities originated in the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC).
Today, Lunar New Year does not fall on a fixed date. During which dynasty was the date of the Chinese New Year fixed to the first day of the first month in the lunar calendar?
Answer: The date was fixed in the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD).
In modern times, what significant change occurred to Chinese New Year in 1912?
Answer: The government abolished the lunar calendar, adopting the Gregorian calendar with January 1 as the official start of the New Year.
After 1949, what change was made to the name of Chinese New Year, and how is it officially recognized now?
Answer: Chinese New Year was renamed the Spring Festival and was listed as a nationwide public holiday.
Which flower is often associated with Lunar New Year and represents wealth and good fortune?
Answer: The Chinese plum blossom.
What is the central theme of Chinese New Year celebrations, symbolizing the removal of the old and the welcoming of the new?
Answer: The celebration is centered around removing the bad and the old, and welcoming the new and the good.
What does the term “Chun Yun” (春运) refer to in the context of Chinese New Year?
Answer: It refers to the mass migration of people traveling to be with their families before the holiday.
What is the significance of the New Year’s Eve dinner, known as “Nian Ye Fan” (年夜饭), in Chinese New Year celebrations?
Answer: It is an important family reunion occasion where members sit around a big table to have a special dinner.
What is the traditional practice of burning incense during Chinese New Year?
Answer: Families burn incense to show respect and gratitude to their ancestors.
What is typically in the red envelopes that are given during Chinese New Year?
Answer: Good luck money.
And who typically gives red envelopes during the holiday? Who receives them?
Answer: It’s usually given by older family members to younger ones during Chinese New Year.
Why do people thoroughly cleanse themselves, change into new clothes, and have a thorough bath before the New Year?
Answer: It is a symbolic way to wash away bad luck and start the new year fresh.
What activity traditionally marks the arrival of the New Year at midnight on New Year’s Eve?
Answer: Noisy firecrackers are set off to usher in the New Year.
What are the “Lucky Mascots” associated with Chinese New Year, representing fictional animals that bring good luck?
Answer: The four “Lucky Mascots” are Dragon, Phoenix, Unicorn, and Dragon Turtle.
What is the significance of the character “福” being hung on the main entrance during Chinese New Year?
Answer: It is the Chinese word for “luck” and is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to the household.
Why is the Chinese character “福” sometimes hung upside down during Chinese New Year?
Answer: An upside-down “福” sounds like “arriving” in Mandarin Chinese, symbolizing the arrival of luck.
What mythical story is associated with the origin of the couplets displayed during the Spring Festival?
Answer: The story involves the Door Gods punishing ghosts for doing harm, and the couplets have the power to stop evils and bad luck.
What does the practice of not sweeping the floor on New Year’s Day symbolize?
Answer: It is believed that sweeping the floor on New Year’s Day may sweep away wealth for the coming year.
What type of dances would you typically see performed during Chinese New Year?
Answer: Lion and Dragon dances.
What is the symbolic reason that dumplings are usually eaten during the Lunar New Year?
Answer: Traditional Chinese dumplings are shaped like ancient Chinese silver and gold ingots (yuanbao). Eating dumplings is believed to bring prosperity and wealth for the coming year.
What is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year called in Vietnamese?
How is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Tết, celebrated in terms of home decorations?
Answer: Homes are decorated with kumquat trees, peach blossoms, chrysanthemums, orchids, and red gladiolas.
What traditional Vietnamese dish is often prepared during Tết celebrations, made with mung beans, pork, and wrapped in bamboo leaves?
Answer: Bánh chưng, a rice cake.
In Vietnam, what snacks, called “mứt tết”, are usually offered to guests during Tết celebrations?
Answer: Sweet bites made from dried fruits or roasted seeds mixed with sugar.
Why were official Lunar New Year celebrations halted in Korea from 1910 to 1945?
Answer: The Empire of Japan annexed Korea and ruled it as a colony during that period.
In North Korea, what is the traditional practice during Lunar New Year — what statues see many visitors during this time?
Answer: People are encouraged to visit the statues of founder Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il and provide offerings of flowers.
What foods are commonly prepared in both North and South Korea to mark the Lunar New Year holiday?
Answer: Sliced rice cake soup (tteokguk) and mung bean pancakes.
What color are the envelopes used for giving New Year’s money by elders in Korea, in contrast to China and Vietnam?
Answer: White and patterned envelopes.
How do Koreans traditionally greet each other during Seollal, the Lunar New Year?
Answer: South Koreans say “Saehae bok mani badeuseyo” (May you receive lots of luck in the new year), while North Koreans say “Saehaereul chuckhahabnida” (Congratulations on the new year).
In Mandarin, what are two common greetings used to wish family and friends a happy Lunar New Year?
Answer: “Xīnnián hǎo” meaning “New Year Goodness” or “Good New Year,” and “Xīnnián kuàilè” meaning “Happy New Year.”
Our Chinese New Year / Spring Festival trivia was meant for you to learn something new about traditions that are as old as time. We hope you did just that!
新年快乐 (xīnnián kuàilè) — happy new year, everyone!
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