Chinese New Year, or 春節 (Chūn Jié / Spring Festival), is one of the most important holidays throughout the Chinese speaking world. The new year of the traditional Chinese calendar begins on the first new moon of the year, with celebrations running from the evening before to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first full month. Unlike the new year of the modern Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year has a great deal of cultural and spiritual significance. The Spring Festival is a major holiday in China and is celebrated throughout the mainland, as well as Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. This year, the first day of Chinese New Year will be January 28th.
The Chinese Zodiac
Closely associated with Chinese New Year is the Chinese zodiac. Each year of the traditional Chinese calendar is designated by one of the twelve animals on the zodiac. This cycle roughly matches the 11.86 year cycle of Jupiter. The animals repeat at the end of the twelve year cycle, so the Year of the Pig is followed by the Year of the Rat. 2017 will be the Year of the Rooster.
|Chinese||Pinyin||English||Year in Cycle|
Note: Chinese astrology is significantly more complex than this chart might imply. To give just one example, each zodiac animal is associated not only with a year but with an hour of the day. This comes dividing the day into two twelve hour periods and using a different animal to represent each hour. Accordingly, we recommend that you use the above chart only for determining the current year in the twelve year cycle.