For most in America, the New Year is celebrated on January 1st, but there is another New Year to look forward to on January 28th: the Chinese New Year! For those of you who are wondering why there are two start dates for the beginning of the year, it’s because they are based on different calendars. The calendar new year on the 1st is based off of the Gregorian calendar; the Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today and is based on the cycles of the sun. The Chinese New Year follows the lunar cycle, which is why the Chinese New Year date tends to fluctuate.
Nevertheless, the start of the lunar year is nearing and millions of people all across the world are preparing to join in celebration. The Chinese New Year is celebrated in many countries in addition to China, such as Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. This year marks the beginning of the Year of the Rooster, which is the 10th of the 12 cycles of the Chinese Zodiac. Chinese New Year is traditionally marked with gifts, firecrackers, and predominantly red decorations of all kinds. Celebrations begin on the eve of the Chinese New Year and last about two weeks in total (ending February 2nd), making this the longest holiday in the Chinese calendar.
The Chinese New Year is an old tradition, dating back to around 1700 BC. According to old tales, the Chinese New Year started with a mythical beast called Nian who would terrorize villages and eat the inhabitants. The villagers were scared and would hide during the time Nian was around. One day, an old man came to the village and saw the town in fear and promised to do something about the beast. The villagers were not optimistic about the old man’s promises but they accepted his help. While the village hid, the old man had put up red papers on the houses and set off loud firecrackers. The next day, the villagers were surprised to find their town was not destroyed. The old man told everyone that Nian was afraid of the color red and of loud noises, and armed with that knowledge, Nian has never decimated a village since. From then on began the traditions we see to this day - beginning before and lasting throughout each New Year celebration, people commemorate this victory by using fireworks, wearing red clothes, and hanging red decorations from their houses.
What does the Year of the Rooster mean for the year ahead? By reflecting on the attributes of a rooster, you can help guide yourself through the energies of the year. For instance, centuries ago roosters’ crows were important, as it would awaken people to start their day’s work, which is why the rooster represents punctuality. By tapping into the traits of the rooster, all Chinese animals in the zodiac can benefit. Loyalty, hard work, commitment, family values and a top-notch appearance are just some of the characteristics that will be rewarding this year.
There are 12 different Chinese Zodiac animals, which means your sign will only come around once every 12 years. Similar to how the western astrology signs represent people with different personality traits, the animal’s characteristics represent the person born under its corresponding year. Interested in knowing which Chinese Zodiac you are? Find your birth year below!
1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rat are quick-witted, clever, charming, sharp and funny. They have excellent taste, are a good friend and are generous and loyal to others considered part of its pack. Motivated by money, can be greedy, is ever curious, seeks knowledge and welcomes challenges.
1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Another of the powerful Chinese Zodiac signs, the Ox is steadfast, solid, a goal-oriented leader, detail-oriented, hard-working, stubborn, serious and introverted but can feel lonely and insecure. Takes comfort in friends and family and is a reliable, protective and strong companion.
1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Tiger are authoritative, self-possessed, have strong leadership qualities, are charming, ambitious, courageous, warm-hearted, highly seductive, moody, intense, and they’re ready to pounce at any time.
1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rabbit enjoy being surrounded by family and friends. They’re popular, compassionate, sincere, and they like to avoid conflict and are sometimes seen as pushovers. Rabbits enjoy home and entertaining at home.
1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
small A powerful sign, those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dragon are energetic and warm-hearted, charismatic, lucky at love and egotistic. They’re natural born leaders, good at giving orders and doing what’s necessary to remain on top.
1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Snake are seductive, gregarious, introverted, generous, charming, good with money, analytical, insecure, jealous, slightly dangerous, smart, they rely on gut feelings, are hard-working and intelligent.
1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Horse love to roam free. They’re energetic, self-reliant, money-wise, and they enjoy traveling, love and intimacy. They’re great at seducing, sharp-witted, impatient and sometimes seen as a drifter.
1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Goat enjoy being alone in their thoughts. They’re creative, thinkers, wanderers, unorganized, high-strung and insecure, and can be anxiety-ridden. They need lots of love, support and reassurance. Appearance is important too.
1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Monkey thrive on having fun. They’re energetic, upbeat, and good at listening but lack self-control. They like being active and stimulated and enjoy pleasing self before pleasing others. They’re heart-breakers, not good at long-term relationships, morals are weak.
1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rooster are practical, resourceful, observant, analytical, straightforward, trusting, honest, perfectionists, neat and conservative.
1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dog are loyal, faithful, honest, distrustful, often guilty of telling white lies, temperamental, prone to mood swing
1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Pig are extremely nice, good-mannered and tasteful. They’re perfectionists who enjoy finer things but are not perceived as snobs. They enjoy helping others and are good companions until someone close crosses them, then look out! They’re intelligent, always seeking more knowledge, and exclusive.