Chinese New Year film

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A Chinese New Year film (simplified Chinese: 贺岁片; traditional Chinese: 賀歲片, Mandarin: hèsuìpiān, Cantonese: ho6seoi3pin3) refers to movies usually released during the Chinese New Year period. It is a film that varies in genre (fantasy, comedy, action, animation, and the like) but whose style is generally relaxed and humorous.[1] It is focused around the horoscope animal, theme, and other attributes for the upcoming year, taking these New Year ideas and presenting them in a modern and exciting way. A recent tradition, it has become a popular way to celebrate the New Year. In recent years, attendance at screenings for such films has grown during the holiday.[2]


Folklorists believe "New Year's Movie Culture," or the first Lunar New Year films, can be traced back to the operatic players in the late Qing dynasty. During the New Year holidays, the stage boss gathered the most popular actors from various troupes and lete them perform repertories.[3]

Early history[edit]

Michael Hui Koon-man (born Chinese: 許冠文; 3 September 1942), a Hong Kong actor, comedian, scriptwriter and director, the eldest of the four Hui brothers.
Michael Hui Koon-man, the eldest of the four Hui brothers.

The Chinese New Year films were first made in Hong Kong.[4] Although the tradition is only about 30 years old, it has become a classic and now provides Hong Kongers with a sense of continuity and belonging. Film studios promote their new movies, with plans to roll out more advertising in mainland China in the coming year.[5] The common themes of these films are the realities, the festivities, and the customs associated with the season.[6]

In 1937, the first Chinese Lunar New Year film premiered in Hong Kong;[7] the movie, titled Bloom and Prosper (花開富貴), broke all box office records. Because of the film's success, more followed in the 1950s and '60s, such as Marriage Between Poorness and Richness (萬事勝意) in 1963, Fortune (招財進寶) in 1960, Happiness at the Door (喜臨門) in 1958, Home Sweet Home (歡喜夫妻) in 1961, and May Luck be with You (一帆風順) in 1965.[8][9]

In the 1970s, the Kung Fu genre reached its height, coinciding with Hong Kong's economic boom. The film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, received universal acclaim and is widely considered to be one of the greatest Kung fu films made until then; it is a highly influential film of the genre.[10][11][12][13] Because of such success, kung fu films have become an important product of Hong Kong cinema.[14] Even Jackie Chan, a famous actor known for his martial art movies, has the habit of watching a New Year's film every year.[15]

Security Unlimited, a 1981 comedy directed by the Hui Brothers, is now considered the first modern Chinese New Year film in Hong Kong.[16] The next year, Mad Mission ushered in a new epoch in movie star history; it is now recognized by audiences in other countries and regarded as one of the most successful movies among the Hui Brothers' comedies.[17]

From the 1980s and the 1990s, the city's economic boom helped create its flourishing film industry. Movies made during this time include the "Aces Go Places" series, the "Winners and Sinners" series, "All's Well, Ends Well" series, and others.[7]

List of Lunar New Year films[edit]

China mainland[edit]

Hong Kong[edit]





  1. ^ "Domestic movies to enrich Chinese Lunar New Year". Archived from the original on February 14, 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  2. ^ "China's cinema box office sets holiday record as sales hit US$852m". South China Morning Post. 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  3. ^ "论中国贺岁档电影存在的问题". doi:10.3969/j.issn.1003-1286.2013.03.024. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "A history of Hong Kong Chinese New Year films". Time Out Hong Kong. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  5. ^ "賀歲片之最". Apple Daily 蘋果日報. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  6. ^ "六部電影史上最為經典的賀歲片,近年竟無影片上榜" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  7. ^ a b "【真本土】你做咩唔笑?回顧新春大電影 - 2018我們要看電影還是賀歲片? - 明周文化". 2018-02-10. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  8. ^ "豆瓣电影". (in Chinese). Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  9. ^ "Film Programmes Office | 電影節目辦事處". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  10. ^ "REVIEW: 36th Chamber of Shaolin, The (1978) « Kung Fu Cinema". 2012-12-14. Archived from the original on 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  11. ^ Ltd., KFC Cinema. "[KFCC] 36th Chamber of the Shaolin Review". Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  12. ^ Shao Lin san shi liu fang, retrieved 2018-12-14
  13. ^ "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (少林三十六房) (1978)". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  14. ^ Klein, Christina (2007). "Kung Fu Hustle: Transnational production and the global Chinese-language film". Journal of Chinese Cinemas. 1 (3): 189–208. doi:10.1386/jcc.1.3.189_1. ISSN 1750-8061. S2CID 191495247.
  15. ^ "❤ 历年经典贺岁片回顾". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  16. ^ "Hong Kong Cinemagic - Security Unlimited". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  17. ^ "Security Unlimited (1981)". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  18. ^ Pao, Maureen. "'Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year' Has A Viral (And Very Sweet) Trailer". NPR. Retrieved 17 April 2020.