2011 – THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the year of 2011 is the Year of the Golden Rabbit, which begins on February 3rd 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012.  Chinese New Year starts with a New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on a full moon 15 days later.  The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and a feast.  The Rabbit is a lucky sign!  After last years ferocious year of the Tiger, everyone is excited about the luck of the Rabbit.

I have always loved the excitement and colors of the Chinese New Year and thought I would share some “fun facts” that I found about the Chinese New Year:

 

The politically correct term is now Lunar New Year, as opposed to Chinese New Year since many Asian cultures other than China’s observe the lunar calendar.

The Chinese year is based on the cycles of the moon so the New Year falls on a different date each year.

The Chinese calendar dates back to 2600 B.C. and it is the oldest known calendar.

A complete Chinese calendar cycle takes 60 years.

According to superstition you must clean your house thoroughly to sweep away misfortune and make way for good luck and fortune in the coming year.  The old year and its spirits are banished by sweeping the floors before New Year’s Day.  (Don’t sweep on New Year’s Day itself – you’ll sweep away the New Year fortune)

Shooting fireworks on New Year’s Eve scares away the old year, and households open up windows and doors at midnight as exits for the old year.

At New Year, special emphasis is placed on food:

  • FAMILY REUNION:  Whole Chicken
  • FERTILITY:  Eggs
  • HAPPINESS:  Dried Bean Curd
  • HAPPINESS AND MARRIAGE:  Chicken
  • LONG LIFE:  Chinese Garlic Chives, Noodles, Peanuts
  • LUCK:  Tangerines
  • PROSPERITY:  Fish, served whole
  • WEALTH:  Bamboo Shoots, Black Moss Seaweed, Egg Rolls, Oranges

During the Chinese New Year Festival only married couples give “Ang Pow”s,  (red envelopes) containing money to buy holiday treats, to their kids or relatives of their younger generations instead of giving presents. 

The money in the red envelopes always totals up to an even number amount.  (odd numbered usually is associated with funeral money.)

The money should never add up to anything with the number 4 in it, because 4 in Chinese sounds like the word death.

Red is considered a lucky color in China.  At one time wedding dresses were red.

The color white symbolized death and misfortune.

The Zodiac calender traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat.

  • RAT (1924-1936-1948-1960-1972-1984-1996-2008)  Forthright, tenacious, intense, meticulous, charismatic, sensitive, intellectual, industrious, charming, eloquent, sociable, artistic, and shrewd. Can be manipulative, vindictive, self-destructive, mendacious, venal, obstinate, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, intolerant, and scheming.
  • OX (1925-1937-1949-1961-1973-1985-1997-2009)  Dependable, ambitious, calm, methodical, born leader, patient, hardworking, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, dogmatic, hot-tempered, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.
  • TIGER (1926-1938-1950-1962-1974-1986-1998-2010)  Unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish, aggressive, moody
  • RABBIT (1927-1939-1951-1963-1975-1987-1999-2011)  Gracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.
  • DRAGON (1928-1940-1952-1964-1976-1988-2000-2012)  Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, eccentric, intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, artistic, generous, loyal. Can be tactless, arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, intolerant, dogmatic, violent, impetuous, brash.
  • SNAKE (1929-1941-1953-1965-1977-1989-2001-2013)  Deep thinker, wise, mystic, graceful, soft-spoken, sensual, creative, prudent, shrewd, elegant, cautious, responsible, calm, strong, constant, purposeful. Can be loner, bad communicator, possessive, hedonistic, self-doubting, distrustful, mendacious, suffocating, cold
  • HORSE (1930-1942-1954-1966-1978-1990-2002-2014)   Cheerful, popular, quick-witted, changeable, earthy, perceptive, talkative, agile, magnetic, intelligent, astute, flexible, open-minded. Can be fickle, arrogant, childish, anxious, rude, gullible, stubborn.
  • SHEEP (1931-1943-1955-1967-1979-1991-2003-2015)  Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be moody, indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer, weak-willed.
  • MONKEY (1932-1944-1956-1968-1980-1992-2004-2016)   Inventor, motivator, improviser, quick-witted, inquisitive, flexible, innovative, problem solver, self-assured, sociable, artistic, polite, dignified, competitive, objective, factual, intellectual. Can be egotistical, vain, arrogant, selfish, reckless, snobbish, deceptive, manipulative, cunning, jealous, suspicious.
  • ROOSTER (1933-1945-1957-1969-1981-1993-2005-2017)  Acute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative, critical, perfectionist, alert, zealous, practical, scientific, responsible. Can be over zealous and critical, puritanical, egotistical, abrasive, proud, opinionated, given to empty bravado
  • DOG (1934-1946-1958-1970-1982-1994-2006-2018)   Honest, intelligent, straightforward, loyal, sense of justice and fair play, attractive, amicable, unpretentious, sociable, open-minded, idealistic, moralistic, practical, affectionate, sensitive, easy going. Can be cynical, lazy, cold, judgmental, pessimistic, worrier, stubborn, quarrelsome.
  • PIG (1935-1947-1959-1971-1983-1995-2007-2019)   Honest, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working, trusting, sincere, calm, understanding, thoughtful, scrupulous, passionate, intelligent. Can be naïve, over-reliant, self-indulgent, gullible, fatalistic, materialistic

The year of your birth is not the only factor that goes into the chinese astrology.  Your animal year makes up a portion of your astrology but it is then mixed with your internal sign and other personal elements.

Advertisements

8 responses to “2011 – THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT

  1. Hi Kari

    Thanks for posting. Your writing is tight, concise, and accurate. All of the fun facts you posted are very interesting. I’m already aware of them as I’m Chinese myself, but it’s nice to introduce these concepts to Western audiences.

  2. I have actually never lived in China…born and raised in California! I was excited to find all the “fun facts” about the Chinese New Year and inspired to write a post about it to let other know. I did my best to do lots of research and hope I did well to inform others about the culture. I enjoyed writting about the facts I found that I thought others would also enjoy.

    • Oh I got confused by the comment from This Italian Family. But yeah I live in CA too and it’s great for people to find out these fun facts about Chinese culture, especially considering the large Chinese population here. So which fact stands out to you the most and why?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s