Chinese New Year is undoubtedly the most important holiday for Chinese around the world. The date is determined by the lunar calendar which is based on the moon’s orbit around the earth and Chinese New Year always falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice.
This year is the Year of the Monkey which will start from February 8, 2016 (Chinese New Year) and last to January 27, 2017.
The Chinese Zodiac
The Chinese believe the animal ruling one’s year of birth year has a profound influence on personality, and destiny. Chinese astrology deals with divining sciences of wuxing or the five elements (earth, fire, water, metal, wood), Yin and Yang, Chi, and the cycles of time.
2016 is the Year of the Monkey
The monkey represents versatility, movement, and activity. If you are a monkey sign in the Chinese zodiac, you’re very likely quick-witted, and a fast-thinker. You make swift assessments, and you can typically produce results with remarkable speed. You’re agile in movement and mind, this gets you ahead in life.
The celebrations are synonymous with “Spring Festival” (春节 or chūn jié). Chinese families travel long distances and brave the crowds to get to their hometowns known as the “Spring movement” or Chunyun (春运). During the holiday period, firecrackers are lit, drums can be heard on the streets, red lanterns glow at night, and children are given red envelopes with money inside.
Many cities around the world also hold New Year parades complete with a dragon and lion dance, and the Lantern Festival on the 15th day. Food is an important component of New Year celebrations with traditional foods including nian gao or sweet sticky rice cake and savoury dumplings, which are round and symbolize never-ending wealth.
You can determine your animal sign by referring to the year you were born and matching it up with the corresponding animal from this link.