Chinese New Year celebration marks the beginning of spring.The New Year celebration begins with the new moon on the first day of the New Year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. Traditionally, New Year’s celebrations are a time for friends and family to gather, a time of reflection with gratitude, and a time to honor one’s ancestors. It is also customary to make wishes and blessings for health and good fortune at this time.
Chinese Lunar Calendar
According to the Chinese lunar calendar, each year corresponds to one of 12 animals; the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. The animal associated with the year of your birth is said to have a significant influence over the course of your life events. Sixty lunar years make up a complete cycle of 5 sets of twelve-years. During these 60 years, each set of 12 years is also associated with one of the five main elements; Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. This is the 3rd 12 year cycle within the larger 60 year span of time beginning 2/2/1984 and ending in 2044. Presently we are reaching an end to the year of the earth ox and beginning the new year of the metal tiger. The year of the tiger marks the third year of this 12 year cycle.
Unquestionably commanding respect from all directions and regions; the charismatic, capricious and rebellious tiger symbolizes power, protection, and passion. In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the tiger is referenced as a fearless fighter and defender of its territory - a mighty and protective figure that symbolically wards off dangers in the domestic sphere.
General predictions for the year of the tiger vary according to each person's animal sign, however Tiger years are often referenced as times of intensity, action, and dramatic extremes. With all the flare and drama, the energy of the tiger contributes a refreshing and determined optimism with a renewed vitality to motivate change and face challenges head on. It seems close to impossible to steer clear of the tumultuous effects of the tiger during its year but the excitement that comes should eventually acquiesce towards more peaceful tranquil times.
Those born in tiger years are said to be noble, gallant, charismatic and well liked. They do well with challenges and strive towards positions of power. Given their strength and courage, they may lean towards risk and impulsivity more than the other animals associated with the lunar calendar. A few examples of famous people born in tiger years are Charles De Gaulle, Ludwig van Beethoven, Emily Bronte, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Stevie Wonder, Tennessee Williams, Groucho Marx, Marilyn Monroe, William Hurt, Peter Frampton, and Rose Kennedy.
For more details about Chinese Horoscopes, check out this book: Lau, Theodora. (2005). The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes. New York: Harper Collins Publishers Inc. (5th ed.)
To learn more about Chinese New Year traditions and celebrations, visit this site for added information.