Chinese New Year 2018

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Chinese New Year 2018

Alaina Herrera, Photography Editor

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In China on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, during the Shang Dynasty (1766 BC – 1122 BC), the first Chinese New Year took place. The festival lasted approximately 23 days ending on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month  


According to Chinese legends, a beast was said to be named “Year” started a fight. “Year” allegedly looked like an ox with a lion’s head that lived in the sea. He was known to come to Chinese villages to harm civilians, their property, or their livestock. The villagers strongly believed that “Year” was frightened at the sight of the colors; therefore they decorated their city streets with colorful decorations.


Traditional decorations are commonly red lanterns, door couplets, paper cuttings, festive paintings, upside-down “fu” characters, and Kumquat trees.


Throughout the years the religious significance of the holiday has diminished. Despite this, the zodiac animals have remained to be cherished by people who celebrate Chinese New Year. The Chinese Zodiac consists of 12 different animals. In order they are; rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.  The zodiac is often portrayed in a chart showing a 12 year cycle. The start of the modern zodiac year starts on February 16 of every year.


It is said that if the current year matches the zodiac year you were born in it is bad luck. For instance, this year is the year of the Dog. Comparatively, if you were born 2006, 1994, 1982 or 1970, this year is said to be bad luck.


Each Zodiac year has an element. This year it is the Year of the Earth Dog. All of the elements are Gold, Water, Wood, Earth, and Fire. Each element reoccurs every 60 years.


In the Chinese culture, it is a fact that an individual’s zodiac sign reflects their personality. In fact, Chinese horoscope is compared to find fitting spouses. It is very common for people on first dates to use this as an icebreaker.


In ancient Chinese culture, civilians used the zodiac chart to tell time. Each animal represented 2 hours. As an example, the Dog would translate to any time between 7-9.


The probability that you have the same zodiac as your mother is very high. Due to the 12 year cycle, if your mother is 12, 24, or 36 years older than you, your zodiac will be the same.


How will your family celebrate Chinese New Year?



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