Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year.

It marks the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar.

Celebrations traditionally run for 15 days and Chinese families gather for the annual reunion dinner. For every family, it is tradition to clean the house thoroughly in order to sweep away any bad luck and make way for incoming good luck. Usual decorations will be red in colour. This is because, in the Chinese culture, red is the symbol of happiness, wealth and prosperity.

When we talk about the Chinese New Year, the Chinese Zodiac comes about. The Chinese zodiac is a part of the traditional Chinese culture. It is a repeating cycle of 12 years and an animal and its reputed attributes are representing each year. They use it to see whom they would get along with and work best with. It provides guidance on how people live their lives and plays an interesting role influencing their culture and community.

Given by the ancient Chinese, each animal has symbolic meanings.

In order, the 12 animals are:

Zodiac Animal Year Symbolic Meanings Personality Traits
Rat 2008 Wisdom Quick-witted, resourceful and versatile
Ox 2009 Industriousness Decisive, honest, dependable and hardworking
Tiger 2010 Valor Brave, competitive, unpredictable and self-confident
Rabbit 2011 Caution Gentle, quiet, elegant, alert, quick, skillful and patient
Dragon 2012 Strength Confident, intelligent, ambitious, persevering and hardworking
Snake 2013 Flexibility Intelligent, courageous, confident, insightful and communicative
Horse 2014 Forging Ahead Animated, kind, straightforward, active and energetic
Goat 2015 Unity Gentle, shy, stable, sympathetic and amicable
Monkey 2016 Changeability Witty, intelligent, ambitious and adventurous
Rooster 2017 Being Constant Observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous and talented
Dog 2018 Fidelity Loyal, honest, amiable, kind, cautious and prudent
Pig 2019 Amiability Diligent, compassionate, generous, easy-going and gentle

For those born in January and February, please check if your birth date falls before or after Chinese New Year to know your Chinese zodiac year as the Chinese New Year moves between 21 January and 20 February. Here is a Chinese Zodiac Calculator to check.

As we go along and learn about the Chinese culture and the Chinese zodiac animals and signs, we can’t help but wonder the characteristics that we are born with. The same with our children, what are their animal signs and what are the certain characteristics that are similar to them.

Over the years, the Chinese zodiac developed into a superstition that made way for people to tell the future by knowing when you were born. It is not a bad thing to know about your sign and the meaning behind it. But, we can’t evidently follow these signs according to how we live our lives.

Remember, we are in control of our own lives. We are the ones who will make a mark in this world, not our animal signs. What we can do is make use of the good meaning of our animal signs and build on the good characteristics it entails and try to overcome the not so good ones.

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