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A quick guide to the Ancient Chinese New Year tradition

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About the Ancient Chinese New Year

Globally, the Chinese New Year is one of the most significant and popular festivals dating back 3000 years.

This article is a quick guide to the Ancient Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year is an important holiday in Chinese culture, also called the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. Globally, it is one of the most significant and popular festivals. Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar and dates back more than 3,000 years. It served as a time for people to offer prayers to deities, honor their ancestors, and celebrate the arrival of a new crop season. Symbolizing the beginning of spring, the end of winter, and the beginning of a fresh start.

This is an opportunity to move forward with optimism and positivity, leaving behind the worries and misfortune of the past year. Vibrant red and gold decorations symbolize good fortune, adding to the festive atmosphere.

The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears each year between 21 January and 20 February.

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Chinese zodiac animal signs play a significant role in Chinese culture, influencing various aspects of life, such as compatibility, fortunetelling, and naming customs.

The Chinese Zodiac

In a repeating 12-year cycle, the Chinese Zodiac assigns an animal and its reputed attributes to each year. A particular animal is associated with a certain personality trait, and people born in that year are said to share those characteristics.

Chinese zodiac animal signs play a significant role in Chinese culture, influencing various aspects of life, such as compatibility, fortunetelling, and naming customs.

The Animals

The Year of the Rat

Years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020.

Traits: Intelligent, adaptable, quick-witted, resourceful, and charming.

The Year of the Ox

Years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021.

Traits: Diligent, dependable, strong, determined, and honest.

The Year of the Tiger

Years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022.

Traits: Brave, competitive, unpredictable, confident, and charismatic.

The Year of the Rabbit

Years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023.

Traits: Gentle, quiet, elegant, compassionate, and intuitive.

The Year of the Dragon

Years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024.

Traits: Ambitious, passionate, confident, intelligent, and charismatic.

The Year of the Snake

Years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025.

Traits: Wise, intuitive, refined, charming, and determined.

The Year of the Horse

Years: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026.

Traits: Energetic, independent, adventurous, ambitious, and strong-willed.

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The Year of the Goat

Years: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027.

Traits: Gentle, kind-hearted, artistic, creative, and compassionate.

The Year of the Monkey

Years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028.

Traits: Intelligent, witty, curious, playful, and mischievous.

The Year of the Rooster

Years: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029.

Traits: Honest, hardworking, courageous, confident, and observant.

The Year of the Dog

Years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030.

Traits: Loyal, sincere, friendly, faithful, and courageous.

Pig

Years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031.

Traits: Diligent, compassionate, generous, calm, and sincere.

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Five Ways You Can Celebrate the Chinese New Year

  • Hold a dinner with family and friends on the eve of the Chinese New Year.
  • Decorate your living space with red and gold ornaments, lanterns, and banners featuring Chinese characters expressing good wishes.
  • Red envelopes, or Hongbao, containing money are given as gifts during the Chinese New Year to bring good luck and blessings. Prepare red envelopes and fill them with money. Distribute them to family members or friends.
  • Attend local Chinese New Year events or parades. Or attend a local temple fair or cultural festival.
  • Learn basic Chinese calligraphy.

Upcoming Chinese New Year Schedule

Dragon (2024–02–10–2025–01–28)

Snake (2025–01–29–2026–02–16)

Horse (2026–02–17–2027–02–05)

Sheep (2027–02–06–2028–01–25)

Monkey (2028–01–26–2029–02–12)

Chicken (2029–02–13–2030–02–02)

Dog (2030–02–03–2031–01–22)

About Dr. Shakira

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