Chinese New Year 2012 - Year of the Dragon

Chinese New Year (CNY 2012) - Year of the DragonChinese New Year 2012 - Year of the dragon

The date for the Chinese New Year in 2012 is January 23rd.  (CNY 2012)  Will and Guy have collected interesting facts around this important festival.

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The Chinese Calendar 2012

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:

2012 is the year of the Dragon.  It is the rén-chén 壬辰 year (Water Dragon).  Rén (Water) is the ninth of the ten celestial stems and chén (Dragon) is the fifth of the twelve terrestrial branches and marks the year of the Dragon.

   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 2012'

The fact that the date of Chinese New Year 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 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 on December 24th, and the second new moon is on January 23rd 2012.

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 in some years there are 13 new moons.  The Chinese deal with this by slotting in an extra intercalary month.Chinese New Year 2012 - Year of the dragon


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


Happy New Year of the DragonHappy New Year of Dragon

新年快乐 Xīnnián kuàilà Happy New Year

过年好 Guò nián hăo Happy New Year

恭喜发财 Gōngxĭ fācái I wish You Great Prosperity

龙年吉祥 Lóng nián jíxiáng Good Luck in the Year of the Dragon

Dates for Chinese Valentine's Day

'When is the Chinese Valentine's Day in 2012?', 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.

China: 2012 Dragon Stamp Causes Furore

A stamp designed to mark China's upcoming Year of the Dragon is drawing unusual criticism for its fang-bearing monster Will and Guy have discovered. Happy New Year of Dragon

The stamp [shown here] went on sale recently , drawing the heavy crowds that normally flock to buy the annual Lunar New Year stamps. However, we have learned from friends that the dragon's attacking pose on this year's stamp has led some people to call it too ferocious and rather fearsome.

Zhang Yihe, a renowned Chinese writer, wrote on her Sina Weibo microblog that she was 'scared to death' when she first saw the red and yellow creature with scales and claws.

Another writer, Tan Xudong, called it an 'incomparably ugly dragon-year stamp.'

Its designer, Chen Shaohua,reported that he had received criticism, abuse and support for the stamp, brought out ahead of the Chinese New Year, which is on the 23rd January 2012. Chen has defended his design, saying that the dragon should be interpreted as a symbol of China's rising confidence.

"As a large country which has major influence in the world, China is ushering in the restoration of national confidence," he has written.

According to The Global Times newspaper, Chen said that his design derives from the pattern on "dragon robes" worn by Chinese emperors - whose symbol was the dragon - in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and a screen featuring dragons in a Beijing park that was a pleasure ground for the emperor.

Mythical legend claims that Chinese people are descended from the dragon, and many believe it's an auspicious symbol and stamp sellers are said to be profiting from the sale of Dragon stamps.

However, sellers at a philatelic market in Beijing were reporting bumper pre-sale orders, with eager collectors paying up to $30 for a commemorative pack of the 12 penny stamps which go on sale very soon.


Year of The Dragon - CNY 2012

The Smallest Dragon Sculpture in the WorldWorld's Smallest Dragon

An artist in Taiwan announced his latest creation of what appears to Will and Guy to be the smallest dragon sculpture in the world to welcome the year of the dragon in 2012.

The sculpture in only half an inch in length and has been displayed on top of coin to emphasise its tiny size. A magnifying glass attached to the sculpture's glass case helps visitors to see the miniature.

56-year-old miniature artist Chen Forng-shean from Taiwan said that it took him three months to make the dragon.

He added, 'the hardest part about making this dragon is the sculpting for the limbs and the claws, these are the most delicate parts, and also its open jaw and the whiskers, those whiskers are very thin. After the dragon was completed, I have to pay attention to its body so it looks like the dragon is above the clouds, that's the dragon's spirit'.

See the smallest dragon here

The Significance of the Chinese Dragon

Chinese around the world, proudly proclaim themselves "Lung Tik Chuan Ren" which may be translated as Descendents of the Dragon. Unlike the negative energies associated with Western Dragons, most Eastern Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. They are the angels of the Orient. Instead of being hated, they are loved and worshipped.Chinese Dragon 5 toes

Chinese dragons have a horse's head and a snake's body. Often they have four jaws. Chinese dragons are divided into Heavenly Dragons, Earthly Dragons and Dragons in water. The most well-known dragons are the Four Sea Dragon Kings governing the east, south, west, north side of the sea. These Four Sea Dragon Kings are in charge of creating clouds and rains for human world. Chinese people do not call a water faucet a tap, but a "Water Dragon Head".

The dragon is regarded as the symbol of the Chinese nation and can be seen everywhere in its culture: including literature, architecture, art, furniture and even clothing.

Dragon Folklore

Dragons are an important part of many Chinese festivals, including Chinese New Year. In ancient China, dragons did not breathe fire. Dragons were wise and caring. They guarded the wind, the rain, the rivers, precious metals and gems.

Many countries use dragons in their art, especially China, Korea and Japan. It's easy to tell the difference between Chinese, Korean and Japanese dragons. Just count the dragon's toes. Of course, you have to get really close. Sometimes it looks as if they have 3 toes, when they really have 5, because some are hidden from sight.  But, for a quick rule of toe:

  • Chinese dragons have five toes
  • Korean dragons have four toes
  • Japanese dragons have three toes

Funny Legend of the Dragon

The farther dragons travel from their home in China, the more toes they lose. Fortunately, Will and Guy have discovered, when wandering dragons return home to China, all their missing toes grow back.  Since most dragons would prefer to keep all their toes, all the time, few dragons ever wander very far from home.

Chinese Character for the Dragon

Chinese New Year 2012 - Year of the dragon

Chinese Truck Driver Balances Egg On Pencil

Chinese New Year 2012 - Year of the dragon


Chinese Phrases

搞笑清洁笑话 in Chinese roughly 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 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.'

Thinking of Visiting China in 2012?China Canton Tower Rides

The world's highest Ferris wheel is set to open for business on top of a 1,480ft tower in Guangzhou, capital of the southwestern Chinese province of Guangdong.  Passengers can ride in observation pods.

Built on the 450-meter-high Canton Tower, the amazing wheel consists of 16 pods holding a total of 96 fearless passengers. Each capsule is just over three meters wide, and built using a special macromolecule material which allows a 360-degree crystal clear view.

Unlike traditional American Ferris wheels, this Chinese tower in Guangdong has a 15-degree incline and can resist 8-magnitude earthquakes and Beaufort scale 12 typhoons.

China Canton Tower Rides

Chinese New Year Ice FestivalChinese Ice Festival

The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is held each January.  A worker shapes a swan sculpture prior to last year's International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province.

New Broom for the New Year?

New broom for the new year

Please write to Will and Guy if you have any interesting information about the Chinese New Year 2012.

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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