Chinese New Year 2011 - Year of the Rabbit

Chinese New Year 2011 - Year of the Rabbit (or Hare) 辛卯Chinese Year 2011 - Year of the Rabbit

The date for Chinese New Year 2011 - February 3rd.  This is also known as Spring Festival or CNY 2011.

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The Chinese Calendar

Unlike western calendars, the Chinese calendar has names that are repeated every 60 years.  Within the 'Stem-Branch' system is shorter cycle of 12 years denoted by animals and 2011 is the year of the Rabbit.  Actually, this is the Xīn-măo 辛卯 year.  Xīn (Metal) is the eighth of the ten celestial stems and Mao (Rabbit) is the fourth of the twelve terrestrial branches and marks the year of the Rabbit or Hare.

  Rat   Ox  Tiger  Rabbit Dragon Snake Horse Sheep Monkey Rooster Dog  Pig
2008 2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016   2017  2018 2007

Calculating 'When is the Chinese New Year in 2011'

The fact that the date of Chinese New Year (CNY) varies within about a month is a clue that it's linked to the new moon.  A rough, and almost infallible guide is that the date of the Chinese New Year falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice.  The winter solstice always falls on December 22nd, the next new moon is January 4th, and the second new moon is on February 3rd 2011.

Will and Guy admit that the precise rules for determining 'When is the Chinese New Year', 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.


The Chinese New Year Calendar - With 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).













































































































60 Year Cycle of the Chinese New Year Calendar

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.

   Rat    Ox   Tiger  Rabbit Dragon Snake Horse Sheep Monkey Rooster  Dog   Pig
2008 2009  2010  2011  2012   2013  2014   2015   2016     2017   2018 2007

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.

See more on the Chinese New Year


Chinese New Year 2011 - The Year Of The Rabbit

Will and Guy have researched the place of the rabbit in the Chinese zodiac and this is what we have found for CNY 2011.

  • People born under the sign of the rabbit are traditionally thought to be gentle, sensitive, modest, and merciful and have a strong memory.
  • They like to communicate with others in a humorous manner.
  • They cannot bear dull life, so they are good at creating romantic or interesting situations but they lack meditative abilities and often sink money into ideas that may cause failures in their career.
  • People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious.
  • They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste.
  • Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky.
  • They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind.
  • Rabbit people seldom lose their temper.
  • They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract.
  • They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise.

Year of the Rabbit - The Legend of the Jade RabbitChinese Year of the Rabbit

In this legend, three fairy sages transformed themselves into pitiful old men and begged for something to eat from a fox, a monkey and a rabbit.

The fox and the monkey both had food to give to the old men, but the rabbit, empty-handed, offered his own flesh instead, jumping into a blazing fire to cook himself.

The sages were so touched by the rabbit's sacrifice that they let him live in the Moon Palace where he became the "Jade Rabbit."

Lunar New Year

A Chinese Rabbit Folk Tale

Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the Song State, China. When he was working in a field, he saw a rabbit running past him, then it broke its neck on a tree and died. The farmer grabbed the dead rabbit and made a stew. it was delicious.

After that, the farmer didn't want to work on his field anymore. He just sat next to that same tree and waited for a rabbit to smash itself and die.

Unfortunately, there were no more rabbits afterwards and the farmer's field grew nothing but weeds. The moral of this story from China is that nothing can be achieved without either working or paying.

Chinese idiom: 守株待兔 [shou zhu dai tu - literally, "Guarding the tree awaiting a rabbit" ] You're waiting for a rabbit.

In the Year of the Rabbit? Duck - Year of the rabbit

A goose has been seen and photographed walking around by itself with an ID card around its neck last week in Beijing's Nanluoguxiang district, a well known tourist area in the capital.

Photo right by Liu Zhen

The Rabbit and The Back Pain - An Explanatory Folktale

There was once a rich man who was fond of rabbits and raised them for amusement.  'Look after them carefully. Ah Ji,' he said. 'If any of them dies, it'll be deducted from your pay.' One day Ah Ji accidentally dropped a stick that landed on a rabbit right across its lower back. 'Uh-oh!' he exclaimed. Scared stiff, he quickly hid the rabbit in a bean patch. A couple of days later, the rich man noticed that a rabbit was missing and took Ah Ji roundly to task. 

Ah Ji had no choice but to go to the bean patch and look for the rabbit. 'The rabbit is tearing around, ' he said. 'It must have eaten something. Huh? How does an injured rabbit have the energy to run around like that? That's really weird.' Ah Ji tried to grab the rabbit, but it hopped around so much he couldn't. He went home and told his father what had happened. His father had been severely beaten by the rich man a few months earlier. His lower back hurt him so much he couldn't get out of bed. 'I'd like to know what that rabbit ate,' his father said. 'Maybe it'd be good for my back.' Dodder

So Ah Ji struck another rabbit across the back and put it in the bean patch to see what would happen. At first, the rabbit couldn't move. It stretched its neck and nibbled the seeds of a yellow plant that clung to a bean stalk. After three or four days, the rabbit was up and about.

'Hey! If the seeds of that plant could heal the rabbit's back, they could have the same effect on people,' his father said. 'Go pick some and cook them into a medicine for me to drink.'  The father drank the concoction. A few days later he could get out of bed and move around. 

Two months later, he was able to work in the fields.  Finally, Ah Ji left the rich man's house and devoted himself to gathering seeds and making them into medicine, which he distributed to people suffering from back pain.

As a result of his story, the herb is called tusizi, or rabbit's thread, in Chinese.  Its English name is dodder.

Chinese Year of the Rabbit 2011 London

Chinese Year of Rabbit London

Dancers perform a Chinese lion dance as part of the 2011 Chinese New Year celebrations in Trafalgar Square, London, England

Dates of Chinese Valentine's Day

'When is the Chinese Valentine's Day in 2011?', is sure to be a mean question in pub quizzes.  So prepared, know the date, and remember the rule, 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese calendar.

For CNY 2011 - The Colour Red and FireworksChinese Valentine's Day 2011

At the Chinese New Year red is important.  People wear red clothes, they write poems on red paper, and give children 'luck money' in red envelopes.  The symbolism behind the red colour is fire, and fire burns off bad luck.  As for fireworks one belief is that the cracker jacks and sparks frighten away evil spirits.

After the fireworks at the beginning of the celebration of the Chinese new year, comes the more tranquil Lantern Festival on the last day of the festivities.  Most Lantern parades feature a dragon made of silk and bamboo.  The dancers hold the monstrous dragon aloft on sticks.  Their coordination skills make the dragon appear to dance.

Chinese Phrases

搞笑清洁笑话 in Chinese translates into clean funny jokes.

干净免费笑话,故事图片、视频剪辑 means clean free jokes, stories pictures and video-clips

Chinese Characters

Chinese Year of the Rat

A simple example of Chinese characters showing how the sun symbol can be modified with a line to mean dawn.


Chinese New Year Jokes, Proverbs and Stories

Chinese Proverbs

  • Wife who put husband in doghouse soon find him in cathouse.
  • War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left.
  • A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
  • He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
  • Chinese 'Cracked Pot' parable

How To Speak Chinese Funny

  • I thought you were on a diet................Wai Yu Mun Ching?
  • This is a tow-away zone......................No Pah King
  • Our meeting is scheduled for next week......Wai Yu Kum Nao?
  • Staying out of sight............................Lei Ying Lo
  • See more funny Chinese speak

20 Number 620 Embassy No 6

It was Chinese New Year.  Bill and Jackson had just staggered back home from a hard night's drinking when they noticed that a menu from the new restaurant next door had come through the letter box.  On a whim they decided to celebrate the Chinese New Year with a take-away.  Jackson, was just off out of the door to fetch their meal when Bill turned to him and said, 'Please get me 20 number 6 while you're at the take-away.

Jackson returned with their chicken Chou Mein, sweet and sour pork and 20 portions of egg fried rice.  Bill said, 'Where's me fags'. Jackson said, 'What cigarettes, you asked for 20 number 6 and that's what you've got, enough egg fried rice to feed a Chinese Junk from Shanghai to Hong Kong'.

Bill said, 'When I was last in England Embassy No 6 was a packet of fags.'

It's a Dog's Life


Meanwhile, Bill and Jackson's wives decided to dine out a new Chinese Restaurant.  Jackson's wife Julie was inseparable from her Pekingese dog called 'Pepe'.  So they took Pepe along with them to the restaurant.   Whenever they went to their usual restaurant the manager's wife looked after Pepe while they ate, and they thought it would be no different this new restaurant.

Julie and her friend Rachel, gave Pepe to the owner and went to their seats.  They ordered their meal, had a few drinks and eventually their meal arrived.  They were mortified when it turned out to be their beloved Pepe surrounded by Chop Suey.

As the owner explained the next day to Bill and Jackson, they thought that Julie and Rachel wanted the chef to cook the dog, not look after it while the women dined.


  • How did an embarrassed panda get mistaken for a newspaper?  They are both black and white, and red all over!
  • What's purple, 10,000 km long and 12m high?
    The grape wall of China.

Traditional Chinese Sense of Humour

Prime Minister Chang was happy enough to write, but he didn't put in a lot of care into his brush strokes. Everybody sneered at his bad handwriting, and the Prime Minister himself really didn't care.

One day Chang thought of a beautiful sentence and at once wielded his writing brush to write it down, indeed, there were dragons flying and snakes dancing all over the paper. Then he ordered his secretary to write it out neatly.

When beginning to copy, his secretary stared tongue-tied and did not know where to start. The young man had to take the manuscript back to the Prime Minister.

'Prime Minister Chang, I can't read your handwriting, please tell me what words they are.'

The Prime Minister read his cursive hand a long time, and did not know what Chinese characters they were, either. He then turned to blame his secretary. 'Why didn't you come earlier to ask me? I myself have forgotten the words which I've written.'

Chinese New Year 2011 Ice FestivalChinese Ice Festival

The 27th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival began on Jan 5th, 2011.  A worker shapes a snow sculpture prior to the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province.

Can you see a man in this picture? - It tells you the scale.

Chinese Ice Festival

A worker installs lights on a snow sculpture prior to the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province.  See more on the Chinese Ice festival.

China: Further Fascinating Fun Facts

Did You Know?

  1. The world's largest producer of apples is China.
  2. The Chinese never give apples to invalids because "ping", the Chinese for apple, sounds a bit like "bing", which is Chinese for illness.
  3. 14 countries share a border with China and they are Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia and North Korea
  4. In ancient China, mouse meat was considered a delicacy, now, a favorite food of most Chinese is sun-dried maggots.
  5. In China, there is a type of tea called white tea which is actually simply boiled water.
  6. 24% of the world speaks Chinese. There are over 200 different Chinese languages and regional dialects. The official state language is Pu-tong-hwa [Mandarin].
  7. China manufactures 60% of the world's bicycles.
  8. People of ancient China believed that swinging your arms could cure a headache.
  9. According to economists, China will become the world's wealthiest nation by the year 2012.
  10. Fingerprinting was used in China as early as 700 AD.

One for luck: 20% of China's plants are used in medicine.

Chinese Bus Company Chooses Innovative Way To Slow Down Their Drivers Chinese bus stabaliser

An omnibus company in China has launched a new "drive safely" campaign, by hanging big bowls of water next to their drivers.  The Longxiang Public Bus Company in Changsha, Hunan province, says drivers must drive gently to avoid spilling any water.  Bus drivers are expected to ensure the bowls are still full when they finish their shift Will and Guy have discovered.

The company warns drivers that CCTV footage will be studied to make sure they do not top up the bowls with water.

We have learned that, 'Passengers often complain that sudden braking and bad driving makes them really uncomfortable on the buses,' from a spokesman of the company.  'So by hanging bowls of water in the driver's cab will discourage them from making any jolting starts, sudden braking or bad turns.'

Will and Guy would like to see this idea introduced into the UK.


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See More About the Chinese New Year Calendar, also Jokes and Funny Stories:

Chinese New Year 2014   • Chinese Day October 1st   • Chinese New Year jokes   • What New Year

Chinese New Year 2015   • Interesting Chinese facts   • Chinese traditional foods   • Chinese food

Chinese Valentine's Day   • Chinese Moon Festival Zhongqiujie   • Chinese New Year Lantern Festival