When is the Chinese New Year 2018?
The Year of the Dog will officially begin on the 23rd day of the 12-month Chinese lunar calendar.
This year the celebrations fall on Friday February 16, and will kick off a whole week of festivities, parades and merrymaking.
Unlike the Gregorian new year observed in the West on January 1, the Chinese New Year’s date is dictated by the movements of the moon.
The new year typically falls between January 21 and February 20, and this the Year of the Dog will end on February 4 in 2019.
Why is it the year of the Dog?
The Chinese lunar calendar is linked to the Chinese zodiac, represented by 12 distinct animals.
Every new year is marked by one of the 12 animals in a 12-year cycle around the calendar.
The current Year of the Dog is the second to last in the cycle and will be followed by the Pig zodiac sign in 2019.
Last year revellers celebrated the Year of the Rooster.
Babies born after February 16 this year will all born under the Dog zodiac sign, as well as those born after that date in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006.
Those born under the dog are said to be loyal and honest companions with a kind disposition to others, though stubborn at times.
Chinese New Year 2018: This year is the Year of the Dog
What is your Chinese zodiac sign?
There are a total of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, each with their unique characteristics.
The signs are:
Unlike the Western zodiac signs, your Chinese Zodiac is derived from the year you were born and not the month of your birth.
According to ChinaHighlights.com, the 12 animals are fixed in their position in accordance with the Yin and Yang theory.
The Chinese tour operator said: “The 12 animals were chosen deliberately, after many revisions.
The zodiac animals are either closely related to ancient Chinese people’s daily lives, or have lucky meanings
“The zodiac animals are either closely related to ancient Chinese people’s daily lives, or have lucky meanings.
“The ox, horse, goat, rooster, pig, and dog are six of the main domestic animals raised by Chinese people.
“The other six animals: rat, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, and monkey are all loved by the Chinese people.”
You can see which zodiac animal is yours below:
- Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
- Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
- Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
- Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
- Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
- Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
- Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
- Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
- Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
- Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
- Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
- Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
Chinese New Year 2018: The new year is a joyous celebration
How is the Chinese New Year celebrated?
Also known as the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year is a pompous national holiday celebrated up and down the country.
Traditionally locals will don red clothing from head to toe to symbolise a new beginning and to ward off bad fortune in the upcoming new year.
Thousands of ear-popping fireworks will ring out in the night skies and firecrackers will line the streets. The loud bangs are believed to spook away malevolent spirits.
Since China is the birthplace of gunpowder and fireworks, the impressive pyrotechnics are a proud part of Chinese heritage and culture.
According to legend, a group of Chinese men accidentally created the first fireworks after throwing hollow bamboo sticks filled to the brim with gunpowder into a fireplace, more than one thousand years ago.