So whats the Chinese year all about?
Happy Chinese New Year 2017!
Today millions of people across the world are preparing to gather with family, get out the firecrackers and celebrate the Spring Festival. Here’s a handy guide to the most anticipated event in the Chinese calendar – from the origins of the Chinese zodiac to the traditions and the superstitions surrounding the celebrations. May the Year of the Rooster be prosperous and happy for you!!!
The Chinese zodiac
In Chinese culture, each year is named after one of twelve animals of the traditional zodiac. There are various legends that explain how this came about. One has it that twelve animals came to visit the Buddha when he asked for visitors. As a reward, the Buddha named the years after each animal as they came before him. The Chinese believe that people take on the special qualities of the animal of their birth year. The Chinese calendar also assigns animals to months, days and even times of day though. It’s fairly complicated, so have a look at Wikipedia if you’re interested!
Here’s a list of the animals and the qualities you might have if you’re born in that year:
In 2017, Chinese New Year falls on 28 January when it will be the Year of the Rooster. The Chinese New Year starts in late January or early February because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar – i.e. based on the moon and the sun (not just the sun like the Gregorian calendar).
As well as being this year’s animal, as early as the 6th century AD, it was customary in China to paste an image of a rooster on the door on the first day of the lunar New Year to protect the household. The rooster is associated with the sun – at cockcrow all the darkness of evil is thought to disappear. Isn’t that a nice thought to end on?