Gung Hay Fat Choy!
The Chinese New Year… also known as the Lunar New Year can be traced back as far as 2600 BC, when Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac.
The first day of the New Year, because of cyclical lunar dating, can fall anywhere from late January to the middle of February. This year, 2010, on the Chinese calendar is Lunar Year 4708.
On the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on Sunday, February 14, 2010 — The Year of the Tiger. This year, the date has special significance since it also happens to fall on Valentine’s Day making it a doubly auspicious day to celebrate in the Western World.
If you were born in 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986 or 1998 – you were born under the sign of the tiger in the Chinese Zodiac. That indicates that you tend to be a very caring and thoughtful person. You also tend to be quite vocal on knowing the best way to make right what is wrong with our society, and quite capable of defending your family, friends and loved ones against all enemies.
The sign of the tiger also indicates that any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome with a little effort and perseverance, so look forward to a year in which to really shine… personally, professionally or both.
Famous People Born Under the ‘Sign of the Tiger‘
Famous people born under the sign of the Tiger include Sheryl Crow, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Dickinson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jay Leno, Karl Marx, Marilyn Monroe, Marco Polo, Beatrix Potter, Queen Elizabeth II, and Jon Stewart.
Chinese New Year Customs & Traditions
Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the 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 children carrying lanterns in a parade. The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. In order to “catch up” with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-year cycle). This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.
A Family Affair Celebration
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors. The sacrifice to the ancestors, the most vital of all the rituals, united the living members with those who had passed away. Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and glory of the family.
Lantern Festival Festivities
Happy New Year!