Chinese New Year

Origin and traditions

Of all traditional Chinese celebrations, Chinese New Year is the most important one. It dates from the time of the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC-1100 BC) when people worshipped gods and ancestors at the end of the year and the beginning of the new year. It was only much later, that it became a festival to bid farewell to the old year and to welcome the new year. The date of the Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar rather than the solar calendar. The Chinese New Year begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice on 21 December. According to the western solar calendar this is somewhere between January 21 and February 20. In 2019 the Chinese New Year begins on February 5.

The Chinese New Year heralds the beginning of spring and, therefore, it is also called ‘Spring Festival’. With songs and dance people welcome the return of Earth to life and the start of the ploughing and sowing season. In preparation of the New Year celebrations, people buy gifts, decorations, special food and new clothes. On New Year’s Eve (‘chuxi’) the houses are thoroughly cleaned and decorated with paper cut-outs spells and two lyrics expressing happiness, prosperity and longevity.

New Year is a family celebration. Regardless of how far people live from their hometown, they do their utmost to join the reunion dinner with the whole family on New Year’s Eve. Therefore, the entire China is on the move around Chinese New Year. Millions of people travel to their hometowns to celebrate New Year. They visit family, friends and acquaintances to wish each other the best for the New Year. It is a big welcoming party, not just at home with the family, but also on the streets. There is plenty of eating and drinking and a lot of music and hard fireworks.

The Year of the Rat

(Saturday 25th January 2020 – Thursday 11th February 2021)

The Chinese New Year is celebrated every year with wonderful festivities and has become an important celebration worldwide! It is an opportunity for the family to get together, a reunion with family and friends, a true celebration in a familiar environment with delicious food and an unforgettable ambiance.
The year 2020 is all about the Rat. The Chinese horoscope has 12 constellations. According to the Chinese horoscope 2020, the Lunar New Year starts on Saturday January 25 and ends on February 11, 2021. The Rat is the first sign of the 12-animal cycle of Chinese astrology and for this reason 2020 is considered “a year of a new beginning and innovations”.

The characteristics of the Rat

The Rat is a dedicated and hard worker, the entrepreneur of the Chinese zodiac. Money takes an important place and the way in which it can be earned is the biggest challenge, as the Rat always sees good possibilities in almost everything.
A person born in the year of the Rat is charming, energetic, social and outgoing. The Rat likes to be among the people. The Rat is intelligent and leaves no opportunity unused. Rats can achieve the most impossible goals by taking advantage of unique opportunities. The Rat has a strong will and is ambitious. However, the Rat must be careful not to force his idea on others because this will not always end well. On the other hand, the Rat also has a great sense of humor and can handle many complicated situations.
They are very hard workers and have a lot of perseverance. With these qualities they can achieve the most unfeasible goals. A Rat is known as a good conversation partner, is fun and humoristic. Despite the open personality, the Rat does not always show the back of its tongue and there will always be mysteries which will remain unsolved.

New opportunities, new possibilities!

The year 2020 is going to be successful! The year of the Rat follows next after the year of the Pig (2019) and before the year of the Ox (2021)! The years of the Rat are: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020 and 2032.

The Year of the Rat will be a strong, prosperous and happy year for almost all Chinese zodiac signs. The Rat will show determination with regard to his / her goals, ambitions and hobbies.
This is a great year for starting new initiatives and undertaking new activities. Those who plan real-estate activities, start a business or invest money in a long-term project have great chances of being very satisfied in the future. But be careful! Such initiatives will only be successful if they are carefully and accurately prepared.

What animal are you?

On the basis of your birth date, you can determine which animal you are according to Chinese astrology. The following table gives an overview of the years 1900 – 2031. Because the Chinese New Year starts in late January or early February, you should further search on the internet, in case you were born in that period.

Animal Year of Birth
RAT 1900 1912 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008 2020
OX 1901 1913 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009 2021
TIGER 1902 1914 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010 2022
RABIT 1903 1915 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011 2023
DRAGON 1904 1916 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012 2024
SNAKE 1905 1917 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013 2025
HORSE 1906 1918 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014 2026
GOAT 1907 1919 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015 2027
MONKEY 1908 1920 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016 2028
ROOSTER 1909 1921 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017 2029
DOG 1910 1922 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018 2030
PIG 1911 1923 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019 2031