2017 is the Year of the Rooster
In addition to the New Year’s celebrations we have here in the United States, there’s another country celebrating in a big way: China. But this isn’t a one-night affair, and it doesn’t just take place in China. The Chinese New Year lasts about two weeks, and celebrations can be found all over the world. This year, festivities begin on January 28 and last until February 15. The Chinese New Year, also known as the spring festival, is marked by the lunisolar Chinese calendar. This means every year, the date changes.
The Year of the Rooster
Do you remember 2016 being wild and unpredictable? That might be because it was the Year of the Monkey. Monkey is a smart, naughty, wily and vigilant animal.
In 2017, we can expect a little bit more calm found in the Rooster, the 10th animal in the cycle. The Rooster is hardworking, resourceful, confident and talented. It’s healthy, sporty, self-assured, yet also a little sensitive, stressed and moody.
Everyone was born in an animal year’s sign, and is said to possess some of the same characteristics as that animal they were born under. Some famous people who were born during the year of the rooster include: Benjamin Franklin, Dolly Parton, Eric Clapton and Serena Williams.
There are 12 animal signs:
Rat: Clever, quick-witted, charming, sharp, funny, generous, loyal, sometimes greedy
Ox: Steadfast, solid, a goal-oriented leader, detail-oriented, hard-working, stubborn, serious, introverted, and sometimes lonely and insecure
Tiger: Authoritative, self-possessed, strong leadership qualities, charming, ambitious, courageous, warm-hearted, very seductive, moody, intense, able to pounce at any time
Rabbit: Popular, compassionate, sincere, likes to avoid conflict, and loves to be surrounded by family and friends
Dragon: energetic, warm-hearted, charismatic, lucky at love, egotistic, natural born leader, great at giving orders
Snake: Seductive, gregarious, introverted, generous, charming, good with money, analytical, insecure, slightly dangerous, jealous, smart, relies on gut feelings, hard working and intelligent
Horse: Loves to roam free, energetic, self-reliant, money-wise, enjoys traveling, love and intimacy, good at seducing, sharp-witted, impatient and sometimes a drifter
Sheep/Goat: Gentle, loving, mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, has delicate thoughts, strong creativity and perseverance
Monkey: Smart, clever, intelligent – especially with career and wealth – lively, flexible, quick-witted, versatile, tends to have an impetuous temper and tendency to look down on others, jealous and arrogant
Rooster: Punctual, honest, bright, communicative, ambitious, warm-hearted, quick minded, sometimes impatient, critical, eccentric, narrow-minded and selfish
Dog: Valiant, loyal, responsible, clever, courageous, lively, sensitive, stubborn and emotional, independent and sincere
Pig: Considerate, independent, optimistic, sometimes lazy, honest, gentle, naïve, sluggish and short-tempered
To find out what your birth animal is, refer to the Chinese Zodiac Calculator.
In addition to animals, every year also has an earth element – metal, wood, water, fire or earth – associated with the animal. 2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster. The characteristics of the Fire Rooster, and those born under the Fire Rooster year, include being trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work. It is said that the year of one’s birth sign is the unluckiest year in the 12-year cycle. Therefore, Roosters should be more careful in 2017.
How People Celebrate
The Chinese New Year is celebrated for 16 days, from New Year’s Eve until the Lantern Festival. It’s traditional for people to prepare before New Year’s Eve by cleaning the house and shopping for new items. On New Year’s Eve, people hang red lanterns, red couplets and New Year paintings, enjoy a dinner, give red envelopes filled with money to kids as a sign of luck and stay up late.
On New Year’s Day, just like New Year’s celebrations in the US, people light fireworks and also offer sacrifices to their ancestors. The days after, people get together with friends and relatives, and end the celebrations with the Lantern Festival – including lighting and watching lanterns, eating sweet dumplings and lighting fireworks.
If you want to join in on the Chinese New Year celebrations, look up your local city’s event schedule. More than likely, parades and firework events are happening just right around the corner!