Unlike western calendars, the lunar Chinese new year calendar has names
that are repeated every 60 years. Within the 'Stem-Branch' system is
the shorter cycle of 12 years denoted by animals:
2010 is the Chinese year of the Tiger. In particular, this is the
year of Gēng-yín
庚寅 (Metal Tiger). Gēng is the seventh of the ten celestial stems and
Yín (Tiger) is
the third of the twelve terrestrial branches, thus February 14th 2010
marks the year of the Tiger with its association to bravery.
The fact that the date of Chinese New Year varies within a lunar month
is a clue that it's linked to the new moon. A rough, and almost
infallible guide, is that the Chinese New Year date falls on the second
new moon after the winter solstice. The winter solstice always falls on December 22nd,
the next new moon is January 15th, and the second new moon February
Will and Guy admit that the precise rules for determining 'When is the
Chinese New Year date', are far more complex. For example, one problem
with any lunar calendar system is that some years there are 13 new moons. The Chinese deal with this by slotting in an extra
intercalary month. However, the Chinese have been calculating the
New Year for a long time,
and 2010 and will be
lunar year 4708 in the Chinese calendar system.
The Chinese New Year Calendar
Its Associated 12 Animals
The lunar Chinese New Year (CNY) calendar below shows which of 12 animals you are! Naturally the
animal depends on the year in which you were born. Note: if you were born in January or February you need to check if
your birthday was before or after the date of that Chinese New Year. (If it was
before this day your animal is the one shown for the previous year).
Unlike western calendars, the Chinese calendar has names that are repeated
every 60 years. Within the 'Stem-Branch' system is shorter 'Celestial'
cycle of 12 years denoted by animals. Furthermore, the Chinese believe
that people born in a particular year take on the characteristics of the animal
associated with that year.
Another dimension of the Chinese zodiac is the 5 'Terrestrial' elements of metal, water, wood,
fire and earth.
If the year ends in 0 it is Yang Metal. If the year ends in 1 it is Yin
Metal. If the year ends in 2 it is Yang Water. If the year ends in 3 it
is Yin Water. If the year ends in 4 it is Yang Wood. If the year ends in
5 it is Yin Wood. If the year ends in 6 it is Yang Fire. If the year
ends in 7 it is Yin Fire. If the year ends in 8 it is Yang Earth.
If the year ends in 9 it is Yin Earth.
Start date for the Chinese New Year Calendar 2013 and following years
The lunar Chinese New Years dates are: 2013 - Feb 10; 2014 - Jan 31; 2015 -
Feb 19; 2016 Feb 8th; 2017; Jan 28th.
Masks in Chinese culture are part and parcel of the world culture of
masks....... 面具 Mianju. Masks first appeared in China during the Shang and
Zhou dynasty some 3,500 years ago. The colourful and exciting celebrations
for the Chinese New Year festival last for several days and end with the lantern [Yuanxiao]
A man ties a New Year wish to a "wishing tree" at the Taoist White
Cloud Temple, Beijing, on the day of the lunar Chinese New Year. See picture
to the right.
A child in traditional costume takes part in the third day of Chinese
New Year festival at the Dongyue temple, Beijing, China. The
Lunar New Year will be celebrated with a week-long holiday.
Keeping Cool In the Hot Weather the Chinese Way
People have dinner In a village river in Kaili, Southwest China's
Guizhou province on August 9th, 2010.
The continuing high temperatures have driven thousands of city
dwellers to the village river every day. They swim, play cards and have
dinner in the river.
Chinese New Year Superstitions
There are certain customs and superstitions that many Chinese adhere to
during the New Year festival. Will and Guy have researched their top
twenty Chinese superstitions for the New Year. These superstitions may well help westerners to
better understand their oriental brothers.
Exploding firecrackers on Chinese New Year's Eve is the Chinese way of
sending out the old year and welcoming in the new.
On the stroke of midnight, every door and window in the house has to be
opened to allow the old year to go out is one superstition.
Many people also abstain from eating meat on the first day of Chinese
New Year festival because it is believed that this will ensure a long and happy life.
Some may eat a whole fish which represents togetherness and abundance,
or a chicken with its head and feet intact, which symbolizes prosperity.
Any noodles in your bowl should be left uncut, as a sign of long life.
Plants and flowers also play a significant role in symbolizing rebirth
and new growth. A home is thought to be lucky if a plant blooms on New
Year's Day, as this foretells the start of a prosperous year.
Another Chinese superstition is that the entire house should be cleaned
before New Year's Day.
On New Year's Eve, all brooms, brushes, dusters, dust pans and other
cleaning equipment are put away. Sweeping or dusting should not be done on
New Year's Day for fear that good fortune will be swept away.
After New Year's Day, the floors may be swept. Beginning at the door,
the dust and rubbish are swept to the middle of theroom, then placed in the
corners and not taken or thrown out until the fifth day. At no time should
the rubbish in the corners be trampled upon.
In sweeping, there is a superstition that if you sweep the dirt out over
the threshold, you will sweep one of the family members away. Also, to sweep
the dust and dirt out of your house by the front entrance is to sweep away
the good fortune of the family; it must always be swept inwards and then
carried out, then no harm will follow. All dirt and rubbish must be taken
out the back door.
All debts had to be paid by this time. Nothing should be lent on this
day, as anyone who does so will be lending all the year.
Everyone should refrain from using foul language and bad or unlucky
words. Negative terms and the number 4, sounding like the word for death,
are not to be uttered. Death and dying are never mentioned and ghost stories
are totally taboo.
References to the past year are also avoided as everything should be
turned toward the New Year and a new beginning.
If you cry on New Year's Day, you will cry all through the year. Therefore, children are tolerated and are not chastised less they cry.
On New Year's Day, one should not wash hair because it would mean that
good luck for the New Year could be washed away.
Red clothing is preferred during this festive occasion. Red is
considered a bright, happy colour, sure to bring the wearer a sunny and
bright future. It is believed that appearance and attitude during New Year's
sets the tone for the rest of the year.
Children and unmarried friends, as well as close relatives are given
little red envelopes with crisp one dollar bills inserted, for good fortune.
The first person one meets and the first words heard are significant as
to what the fortunes would be for the entire year. It is a lucky sign to see
or hear songbirds or red-coloured birds or swallows.
It is considered unlucky to greet anyone in their bedroom so that is why
everyone, even the sick, should get dressed and sit in the living room.
Do not use knives or scissors on New Year's Day as this may cut off
Texting is Popular at Chinese New Year
Do you realise that well over 9 billion text messages will be
exchanged at the Chinese New Year 2010?
Examples of Chinese Script
The development of Chinese characters can be dated back over
4,500 years as discovered at Yanghe, Shandong Province in recent years.
There are about a dozen pottery wine vessels unearthed, which each have a
character. These characters are quite close to the oracle
inscriptions carved by the ancients of the Shang Dynasty [16th to 11th
Here is the Chinese name for Guy Thomas
Here below is the Chinese name for William Baker
Borrowed from Chinese
Words taken completely or in part from another language are known as
loanwords. In the English language, there are many loanwords that have
been borrowed from Chinese languages and dialects. Here are ten
common English words that are borrowed from Chinese.
Coolie: While some claim that this term has its
origins in Hindi, it's been argued that it could also have origins
in the Chinese term for hard work or 苦力 (kǔ lì) which is literally
translated as "bitter labour."
GungHo: The term has its
origins in the Chinese word 工合 (gōng hé) that can either mean to
work together, or as an adjective to describe someone that is overly
excited or too enthusiastic. The term gong he is a shortened word
for industrial cooperatives which were created in China in the
1930s. During that time U.S. Marines adopted the term to mean
someone with a can-do attitude.
ChopChop: This term is said
to originate from the Cantonese dialect for the word 快快 (kuài kuài)
which is said to urge someone to hurry up. Kuai means hurry in
Chinese. "Chop Chop" appeared in English-language newspapers printed
in China by foreign settlers as early as the 1800s.
World Expositions are galleries of human inspirations and thoughts.
Since the Great Exhibition of 1851 was held at Crystal Palace, London,
the World Expositions have attained increasing prominence as grand
events for economic, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges,
serving as an important platform for displaying historical experience,
exchanging innovative ideas, demonstrating esprit de corps and looking
to the future.
The picture to the right is an Artist's impression of the China Pavilion
Expo2010 will take place in Shanghai, China. Will and Guy would like
to share with readers what can be expected at this 2010 exposition.
It will take place in Shanghai, China.
While the Chinese New Year in 2010 begins on February 14th, the Expo starts on 1st May 2010 and
runs until 31st October
100 million visitors are expected to attend.
There are already 194 participants signed up to display their
Theme of Expo 2010 is "Better City, Better Life,"
representing the common wish of the whole humankind for a better
living in future urban environments.
This emblem, depicts the image of three people: you, me,
him/her holding hands together, symbolizing the big family of
The "Small One Dollar", a rare Chinese stamp dated from 1897, sold
for HK$4.8 million [$617,959 USD] to an Asian bidder, setting a record
price for a single Chinese stamp at an auction in Hong Kong in January
Footnote: Please write to Will and Guy if you have any pictures or stories
of the lunar Chinese New Year 2010.
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See More About the Chinese New Year Calendar, also Jokes and