Chinese Lunar New Year
Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival is the biggest celebration in Asia. It is a two week event featuring parades, parties, fireworks and fun. Older than Taoism and Buddhism, the celebration started as a way to deal with the quirks of nature and gained significance by its connection to mythology and metaphysics. .
According to legend, the celebrations began as a way to frighten a mythical beast called the Nian. On New Year's Eve, the Nian would come to harm people, animals and houses. After many years, folks found that the Nian was afraid of the color red, fire and loud sounds, and so to this day, people use lucky red talismans, set off firecrackers and make lots of noise on New Year.
Ancient China was an agrarian society. seasons were important and the start of the growing season was an occasion for joy. The beginning of the year was based on the relationship between the sun, the moon, the earth and the stars. It was a two week celebration. It began on the 2nd new moon after the Winter solstice and though it could start as early as January 22nd, or as late as February 19th, it was always the beginning of preparations for spring.
Additional connections to the universe are seen in the merger of the 12 Animals of the Chinese zodiac and the 5 Essential Elements of nature with the individual years. Each of the 12 animals is connected to each of the elements, (ex. fire dog, water dog, wood dog, metal dog, earth dog) thereby creating a revolving sequence that repeats every 60 years.
According to tradition, whatever happens on the first day on the year will happen for the rest of the year. For a successful year, smile, eat good food, visit friends and practice tai chi, chi kung and meditation.
Here is information on the individual years.
2017 The Year of the Rooster
2016 The Year of the Monkey
2015 The Year of the Sheep
2014 The Year of the Horse
2013 The Year of the Snake
2012 The Year of the Dragon
2011 The Year of the Rabbit
2010 The Year of the Tiger
2009 The Year of the Ox
2008 The Year of the Rat
2007 The Year of the Pig
2018 The Year of the Dog
The 12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig
The 5 Elements of the Universe: (essential phases of energy): fire, water, metal, wood and earth.