Lunar New Year

By: Julia Yang

It’s Chinese New Year, a new year is a new animal. This year, we explore The Year Of The Rabbit. Did you know that in Chinese culture, the rabbit represents mercy, elegance, and beauty? It’s said to be the luckiest animal of the twelve.

Lunar New Year is also known as the Spring Festival. It lasts for fifteen days and is the most important festival in China.

The rotation of the twelve animals is based on the tale of a “Great Race” consisting of the twelve animals, created by the Jade Emperor— a god in Chinese mythology. According to the tale, animals had to overcome a rapidly-flowing river in order to get to the finish line. The results came in the following order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

Those born in the years 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023 and so on (every twelve years) are born in The Year Of The Rabbit. Each animal has their own years assigned to them. With that, everyone has their own Chinese zodiac assigned to them.

Although these are the twelve zodiac animals for Chinese culture, some animals can switch out based on where it’s celebrated. In Vietnam, the ox is replaced with a water buffalo, and the bunny with a cat. In the “Great Race” tale, the cat was not included in the Chinese zodiac cycle because the rabbit failed to inform the cat of the race, even after promising to do so.

Nobody is confident in how the cat came to be in the Vietnam zodiacs, but there is speculation that the ancient words for rabbit and cat sounded similar. So, technically, it is also The Year Of The Cat.

China has several traditions that come with the New Year, traditions that include putting up decorations, eating reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, giving red envelopes and other gifts, firecrackers and fireworks, etc.

If you wish to learn more about The Lunar New Years, feel free to visit the sources given below.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s