Little New Year (Xiao Nian/小年) is celebrated in Qingdao on the eve of the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month.
This traditional holiday marks the last half moon of the year on the Chinese lunar calendar. Little New Year is associated with the Kitchen God and signals the beginning to the Chinese Spring Festival.
It’s almost certain that everyone you know in Qingdao will be with family to have jiaozi.
Little New Year signals a slowdown in work as people are rushing about taking care of last minute preparations for the festivities to come during Chinese New Year. Expect your office/school/factory to be winding down in the run up to one of the largest celebrations on Earth.
More information on Chinese Little New Year from China.org.cn:
Little New Year, which falls about a week before the lunar New Year, is also known as the Festival of the Kitchen God, the deity who oversees the moral character of each household. In one of the most distinctive traditions of Spring Festival, a paper image of the Kitchen God is burned on Little New Year, dispatching the god’s spirit to Heaven to report on the family’s conduct over the past year.
The Kitchen God is then welcomed back by pasting a new paper image of him beside the stove. From this vantage point, the Kitchen God will oversee and protect the household for another year. The close association of the Kitchen God with the Lunar New Year has resulted in Kitchen God Festival being called Little New Year.
Although very few families still make offerings to the Kitchen God on this day, many traditional holiday activities are still very popular.