It's China's turn to celebrate their New Year.
Chinese New Year is celebrated worldwide , here are some interesting facts about it
1* The Chinese New Year is assigned to an animal. The story behind it, is that Buddha promised gifts to all the animals that would pay him homage but only 12 animals came forward. And that is why each one of them was given one of the 12 years of the Chinese Zodiac and therefore the signs repeat every year. Here are the order of the animal cycle:
: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
2* The date changes every year! It is determined by the Chinese Lunar calendar and falls between 21st of January and 20th of February
3* Chinese New Year marks the start of the New Lunar cycle and is called the Spring Festival as it always falls between the December solstice and the March equinox.
4* Flowers are an important symbol in the tradition especially Plum Passion (courage and hope) and the Water Narcissus (good luck and fortune while oranges are sign of luck and wealth.
5* The color Red is also an important symbol of Chinese New Year as it symbolizes happiness, good luck, success, good fortune and fire to keep evil spirits off. Usually Red envelopes with money are exchanged between each other (families, friends, workmates etc) and mainly given to children as presents.
6* Each year, China displayed the most amazing fireworks at midnight to celebrate their New Year. According to their tradition, fireworks are used to scare evil spirits.
7* Chinese New Year celebrations can last up to 15 days and ends with a Lantern Festival which falls on the night of the first full Moon of the Chinese New Year. Families and friends gather together to eat and put up lanterns and release them into the skies.
8* Every Chinese household is thoroughly cleaned before the big day to let all the bad luck out and at midnight, every door and window is opened to allow the old year to go out.
9* The number 8 symbolizes good luck. Every Chinese family prepares the "Chuen Hop" or tray of togetherness which consists of 8 platters filled with special and symbolic food items.
10* On New Years day, good behavior is a must: your action on the day will set it for the year, no foul language or "negative" words are to be used, talking about the past isn't allowed as you should be looking forward to the new future, no children are to be disciplined on that day as according to the tradition if a child cries on New Years day, he/she will cry all year, washing hair is not encouraged as it will wash away the New Year good fortune.
Year of the Rooster
Chinese New year falls on Saturday 28th of January and is entering the Fire Rooster Year.
According to Chinese astrology, each animal year is associated with one of five elements: metal, wood, water, fire or Earth.
Some of the Rooster characteristics are:
- observant, hardworking, active, talkative.
Roosters enjoy sports activity, as well as being the center of attention. In Chinese culture, Rooster represents fidelity and punctuality. People born in the year of the Rooster are beautiful and kind hearted, courageous and hard working although on the other side, they might be seen as arrogant, impatient and critical.
However being in the year of your Zodiac year or Ben Ming Nian is unlucky. According to Chinese astrology, people in their Zodiac year are believed to offend Tai Sui, the God of Age and incur his curse.
Who is Tai Sui?
Tai Sui was an imaginary star that changes position exactly 30 degrees of direction each year, i.e. orbiting Earth every 12 years exactly. It's said to bring misfortune to people in zodiac years matching their year of birth.
Later, Tai Sui evolved into the God of Age, and has been worshipped by one generation to another. Chinese people offer sacrifices to the God of Age to get rid of misfortune and pray for blessings in a zodiac year.