Chinese New Year 2017 – The Year of the Rooster – has begun and will last until Feb 15, 2018.
The new year, also known as the Spring Festival, is marked by the lunisolar Chinese calendar, so the date changes from year to year.
The festivities usually start the day before the New Year and continue until the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the new year.
Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac.
The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 blocks (or houses) just like its western counterpart, but with the major difference being that each house has a time-length of one year instead of one month.
This year, it’s the Year of the Rooster, the 10th animal in the cycle. The next Year of the Rooster will be in 2029.
The personality of the Rooster
People born in the Year of the Rooster are characterised as honest, energetic, intelligent, flexible and confident. But according to Chinese astrology, the year of your sign is believed to be one of the most unlucky years of your life.
The general image of people in this zodiac sign is that they are hardworking, resourceful, confident and talented. In addition, their active, talkative and engaging ways make them popular with people. They are happiest when they are in company, enjoying the spotlight. Although they were born with enviable skills, they still have several shortcomings, such as being seen as vain and arrogant with a tendency to brag about their achievements.
Strengths: healthy, sporty, self-assured
Weaknesses: a little sensitive, stressed, moody
Lucky Signs for the Rooster
- Lucky numbers: 5, 7, 8
- Lucky colours: brown, gold and yellow
- Lucky flowers: gladiola, cockscomb
- Lucky directions: south, southeast
Which Chinese zodiac sign are you?
Your sign is derived from the year you were born in the Chinese lunar calendar.
The years below are a rough guide, but if you were born in January or February it may be slightly different as the new year moves between Jan 21 and Feb 20.
- Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
- Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
- Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
- Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
- Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
- Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
- Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
- Sheep: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
- Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
- Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
- Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
- Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
What does your Chinese zodiac sign mean?
In Chinese astrology, the 12 animal zodiac signs each have unique characteristics.
- Rat: Intelligent, adaptable, quick-witted, charming, artistic, sociable.
- Ox: Loyal, reliable, thorough, strong, reasonable, steady, determined.
- Tiger: Enthusiastic, courageous, ambitious, leadership, confidence, charismatic.
- Rabbit: Trustworthy, empathic, modest, diplomatic, sincere, sociable, caretakers.
- Dragon: Lucky, flexible, eccentric, imaginative, artistic, spiritual, charismatic.
- Snake: Philosophical, organised, intelligent, intuitive, elegant, attentive, decisive.
- Horse: Adaptable, loyal, courageous, ambitious, intelligent, adventurous, strong.
- Sheep: Tasteful, crafty, warm, elegant, charming, intuitive, sensitive, calm.
- Monkey: Quick-witted, charming, lucky, adaptable, bright, versatile, lively, smart.
- Rooster: Honest, energetic, intelligent, flamboyant, flexible, diverse, confident.
- Dog: Loyal, sociable, courageous, diligent, steady, lively, adaptable, smart.
- Pig: Honorable, philanthropic, determined, optimistic, sincere, sociable.
Chinese New Year’s Day Taboos
To be avoided on the first day of the Chinese New Year:
1. Medicine: Taking medicine on the first day of the lunar year means one will get ill for a whole year.
2. New Year’s breakfast: Porridge should not be eaten because it is considered that only poor people have porridge for breakfast and people don’t want to start the year “poor” as this is a bad omen.
3. Laundry: People do not wash clothes on the first and second day because these two days are celebrated as the birthday of Shuishen (水神, the Water God).
4. Washing hair: Hair must not be washed on the first day of the lunar year. In the Chinese language, hair (发) has the same pronunciation and character as ‘fa’ in facai (发财), which means ’to become wealthy’. Therefore, it is seen as not a good thing to “wash one’s fortune away” at the beginning of the New Year.
5. Sharp objects: The use of knives and scissors is to be avoided as any accident is thought to lead to inauspicious things and the depletion of wealth.
6. Going out: A woman may not leave her house otherwise she will be plagued with bad luck for the entire coming year. A married daughter is not allowed to visit the house of her parents as this is believed to bring bad luck to the parents, causing economic hardship for the family.
7. The broom: If you sweep on this day then your wealth will be swept away too.
8. Crying children: The cry of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the family so parents do their best to keep children as happy as possible.
9. Theft: Having your pocket picked is believed to portend your whole wealth in the coming year being stolen.
10. Debt: Money should not be lent on New Year’s Day and all debts have to be paid by New Year’s Eve. If someone owes you money, do not go to their home to demand it. Anyone who does so will be unlucky all year.
11. An empty rice jar: A depleted receptacle may cause grave anxiety as the cessation of cooking during the New Year period is considered to be an ill omen.
12. Damaged clothes: Wearing threadbare garments can cause more bad luck for the year.
13. Killing things: Blood is considered an ill omen, which will cause misfortunes such as a knife wound or a bloody disaster.
14. Monochrome fashion: White or black clothes are barred as these two colours are traditionally associated with mourning.
15. Welcoming the New Year: According to tradition, people must stay up late on New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year and then let off firecrackers and fireworks to scare off inauspicious spirits and Nian, the New Year monster.
16. Giving of certain gifts: Clocks, scissors, and pears all have a bad meaning in Chinese culture.
What is clear is that we all have hope for this new year to come, and we wish with our deep heart to do well this year, our works that we leave this 2017 will be the fruit of our passion, courage and great love.