February 24, 2023 3 min read

Chinese New Year 

The Lunar New Year this year is the year of the TIGER

Chinese New Year is the most celebrated and important traditional festival also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, this marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The celebration date varies each year and is determined by the lunar calendar. This year Chinese New Year falls on February 1st, 2022 and it is the year of the Tiger. The calendar ideally begins when the new moon occurs in the new year and lasts roughly 16 days until the full moon arrives with the celebration of the festival of lanterns.

Like all traditions, Chinese New Year is steeped with stories and myths of its origin. One most popular and widely known is the legend of Nian. A mythical beast that ate livestock, crops and even people on the eve of the new year. To prevent an attack, people would put food and offerings at their door to keep him away. Legend tells of a wise old man that found Nian's weakness of loud noises and the colour red. Thus, red lanterns, scrolls, and loud firecrackers were incorporated to keep Nian away.  

 Traditionally, Chinese New Year is the most important festival on the calendar. Businesses came to a near stop as households would pivot their attention to cleansing and cleaning out their homes of possible built-up bad energy that has accumulated throughout the year. It was important to clean out the bad energy so that, with the new moon came good luck and new opportunities for the coming year. Red scrolls printed with lucky messages would be left on household gates and fireworks would be set off in hopes of welcoming luck and warding off evil spirits. It’s believed this would appease the gods and ancestors who would come down from the heavens to visit during this time.  

The Chinese zodiacs represent a different animal following a 12-year cycle. The details of how the animals were chosen vary, but the story goes they were chosen by partaking in a race. There could only be twelve winners in this race, it wasn't for the faint of heart, you had to cross a rapid current river to reach the finish line on the shore. The animals won the race in the order of Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. 

Now the lunar calendar follows the outcome of this race, where the Rat will start the sequence and the pig will finish it, then resetting the cycle. It's believed that people born in a given year have the personality of that year's animal. 

Find your Zodiac animal! 

 Rat – 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020 

Ox – 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021 

Tiger – 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962,1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022 

Rabbit – 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Dragon – 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024 

Snake – 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025 

Horse – 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026 

Goat – 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027 

Monkey – 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028 

Rooster – 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029 

Dog – 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030 

Pig – 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971,1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031            

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