Learn more about Chinese New Year 2021 with Kids In Perth

By Nigel Wong, Family fun finder at Kids In Perth 03 Feb 2021


Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of the new year according to the traditional lunar calendar. These dates change every year depending on the calendar. 

Chinese New Year celebrations typically start on the evening before the new moon, and end on the evening of the full moon 15 days later (Lantern Festival). Each day of the festival will have its own set of traditions. 

2021 Important Dates & Significance


Thursday 11 February – FAMILY REUNION DINNER. Most important celebration where families gather to celebrate. 


Friday 12 February – NO HOUSE CLEANING DAY. You don’t want to sweep away wealth or good fortune away from your family home. 


Friday 26 February – LANTERN FESTIVAL. Most important celebration where families gather to celebrate. 

What to eat or order during Chinese New Year

JAI – On first day, in my family, we were taught to eat vegetarian on the first day to symbolise not taking any life and enter the new year with a free conscience. 

YEE SANG – Known as the “Prosperity toss”, it’s a salad that symbolises abundance and, at beginning, when it arrives at the table… you’ll find everyone in the family helping to mix it together by, using their chopsticks, digging in at the bottom of the salad then picking up the salad and tossing it over to mix as a group. 

MANDARINS – The word for the mandarin fruit in Cantonese and Mandarin (the language!) has a double meaning. It means giving gold…naturally, and if you eat or buy a lot of Mandarins and bring home is a sign of good luck. Giving mandarins to your neighbours signifies wishing prosperity upon the recipient. 

What are those red packet for? 

Red envelopes contain money and are given, most commonly, to kids from their parents, grandparents, and others as Chinese New Year gifts. They are called ‘hongbao’ in Mandarin and ‘lai see’ in Cantonese. 

Chinese people love the color red, and regard red as the symbol of energy, happiness and good luck. Sending red envelopes is a way to send good wishes and luck (as well as money). The significance of red envelopes is the red paper, not the money inside. 

The traditional Lion Dance 

Lions play an important role in Chinese mythology, and represent joy and happiness. Lion dances are performed accompanied by the music of beating of drums, cymbals, and gongs instruments synchronise to the lion dance movements and actions. People perform lion dance to bring luck and to get rid of the devil. 

Interview – Ken Wu, Yao Lin Kung Fu Association

Where can I watch a Lion Dance? 

Watertown Brand Outlet Centre 

Sunday 14th February – 12pm 
Friday 19th February – 12.30pm 
Saturday 27th February – 12pm 
Celebrate Chinese New Year with an acrobatic Lion Dance. Grab lunch from the great restaurants around the centre and check out the outlet stores and grab a bargain. 

Broadway Fair Shopping Centre, Nedlands 

Friday 19th February – 5pm – 8pm 
Celebrate Chinese New Year with a Lion Dance and kids activities. Grab dinner from the great restaurants around the centre. Check our guide here for things to do and eat.

Kardinya Park Shopping Centre, Kardinya

Sunday 14th February – 1pm 
Catch the Chinese New Year celebrations with a traditional Lion Dance. 

Lion dance from Yao Lin Kung Fu Association

What else is happening around Perth?

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