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What year is it on the Chinese calendar?

Happy Chinese New Year and/or Spring Festival! It's a Year of the Rat this year, and a good one no less! Phew, I'm sure we are all welcoming a year of good fortune and seeing the fruits of our labor. One might wonder though, how do you know what date the new year is when talking about the Chinese calendar?! Well, I'm here to tell ya!

The Chinese Calendar is based around the lunar cycle (which repeats ever twelve years, but we will get back to that in a minute). The Chinese New Year is the second new moon (when there is no moon) after the Winter Solstice! It usually falls between January 21st and Feb 19th on the Gregorian calendar. If you listen to CNN then it's 4717 on the Chinese calendar, which is FALSE... Talk about some fake news (eyeroll). And because I was trusting they couldn't mess up something this easy, I just trusted them, and now I have a corrected Daily Doodle page... I guess it was bound to happen, just frustrating... ok, so back to the positive year ahead of us! The year is actually 4718, year of the metal rat.

This holiday is celebrated by several countries in Asia, and anywhere there is a large Chinese population. The Lunar New Year festivities begin on the first day of the first lunar month on the Chinese calendar (the second new moon after winter solstice) and continue until the 15th of the lunar month, when the moon is full. Each day of the fifteen day celebration has its own traditions.

Now, back to the 12 year lunar cycle... Chinese legend tells us that Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on New Year's Day and named a year after each of the twelve animals that came. The animals in the Chinese Calendar are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit/Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Roster, Dog, and Pig/Boar (in that order). Also, according to legend, people born in each animal's year have some of that animal's personality traits, you can read about your year here.

There are some super in-depth readings depending on your element within your animal, which is pretty interesting to read if you're into that kind of thing. I'm all about horoscopes, tarot cards, and spirit animals, so this is just another fun way to see if anything inside is strummed by what is said by my zodiac animal info. I'm an Ox, what are you?

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