The New Year is an exciting time of year. Most people feel like it’s a blank slate, a new beginning. They write down all kinds of New Years’ Resolutions and plan out their year. They’re determined that this is the year they’re finally going to reach all of their goals.

Around mid-February, the fresh feeling of the New Year starts to wane. It’s not completely gone, but it doesn’t feel as exciting as it did on January 1.

Thankfully, this is the time of year when the Chinese New Year takes place.

Besides reinvigorating you to keep going after your goals and ideal lifestyle, the Chinese New Year is an event that is full of tradition and symbolism. The more you learn about it, the more you’ll appreciate why this is such a special time of the year.

When Is the Chinese New Year and How Is It Celebrated?

When is the Chinese New Year? Well, this year, it’s already past. In 2018, the Chinese New Year took place on February 16. In 2019, the New Year will take place on February 5.

During this celebration, those in China or of Chinese descent living throughout the world celebrate by cleaning their homes to welcome in springtime. Think of it as an early spring cleaning.

Then, they put up red posters on their doors that have poetry on them. They also put New Year’s pictures up around their house, as well as red lanterns.

Most families will get together to celebrate the holiday together by lighting fireworks and firecrackers. Families give each other “luck money” as a gift, particularly the children.

During this celebration, music is played – including lots of drums and gongs. Dragon and lion dances are performed to the music.

The Symbolism, and Tradition of the Chinese New Year

During the 12 months following February 16, 2018, it will be the Year of the Dog. Last year was the Year of the Rooster. What’s the difference between the Chinese New Year Animals and why is each year represented by animals?

What we’re looking at the Chinese New Year, we’re not just looking at a calendar of 12 months. We’re looking at a lunar calendar. Therefore, this New Year is considered a Lunar New Year.

Each year is based on the movements and position of the moon and planets.

You may be familiar with this idea, very commonly referred to as astrology.  People use an astrological zodiac to determine their horoscope – their future and the fortunes and misfortunes that await them.

Besides using the zodiac to determine how their year, or even how each day, will pan out, people have used their astrological sign as a basis for their personality type.

For instance, you may have heard that a Leo is warm and driven. They want to be loved and admired by all. Their favorite pastime: Being in the limelight.

On the other hand, an Aquarius is said to be mysterious, independent, and free-spirited. Though practical, they have a great sense of humor and tend to display inconsistency regularly.

Similarly, the Chinese lunar calendar is made up of Chinese Zodiac Years. Each year correlates to an animal, which, as tradition has it, were selected by the Jade emperor. He requested that animals come to his palace. The first 12 that arrived would each represent a year.

Chinese New Year Animals

The 12 Chinese zodiac animals are:

  • Rat
  • Ox
  • Tiger
  • Rabbit
  • Dragon
  • Snake
  • Horse
  • Sheep
  • Monkey
  • Rooster
  • Dog
  • Pig

After the Year of the Pig, the 12 year cycle will begin again.

Each year usually displays the traits of the animal that represents it. And people born in the Year of the Dog or Year of the Rooster, etc. will generally have an interesting year whenever the year of their animal rolls around again.

For example, people born in the Year of the Rooster are those that were born in 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, and 2017. The next Year of the Rooster will be 2029.

What to Expect During the Year of the Dog

But what about the next 12 months, the so-called Year of the Dog?

During this year, those who were born in a Dog should expect prosperity, especially if they display the qualities of the dog. These include being:

  • Hard-working
  • Proactive
  • Communicative.

Also, those who show generosity will see the most benefits over the year.

The dog also represents solidarity, equality, and integrity. Of all the Chinese Zodiac Years, the Year of the Dog seems to be one where citizens will start demanding changes for the world, including social awareness and action being taken to protect and respect others.

How Will You Celebrate the Lunar New Year This Time Around?

Since we’re in the early days of the Chinese New Year, will you do anything special to celebrate? This might be a good time to reevaluate your goals for the year. Doing this will likely reinvigorate you, making you even more determined to make this year your best one yet.