Tuesday 5th February is the Chinese and Japanese Lunar New Year, following the New Moon. (there's still time to do your New Moon Abundance Cheques until 21.04 GMT tonight). Celebrate with vegetarian snacks and fireworks, drums and cymbals from sunset onwards. Spring clean your house in preparation and decorate with strips of red paper with messages of long life, health, wealth & happiness. Visit friends and family, buy new clothes, especially shoes and settle debts.
The actual date of the Chinese New Year (also called the Spring Festival) changes from year to year. This is because it is determined by the lunisolar Chinese calendar. The festivities usually start the day before the New Year and continue until the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the New Year.
Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals, which are rotated from those in the Chinese zodiac. The twelve animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Similar to the Western zodiac, the Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 houses, but with the major difference being that each house lasts one year instead of one month.
In addition each year is allocated one of the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) and these are changed every two years. So after the New Year has occurred:
Years ending in the numbers 4 or 5 = Wood
Years ending in the numbers 6 or 7 = Fire
Years ending in the numbers 8 or 9 = Earth
Years ending in the numbers 0 or 1 = Metal
Years ending in the numbers 2 or 3 = Water
The Year of the Pig - a joyous year bringing good luck and prosperity - runs 5th February 2019 until 25th January 2020 (image above is licenced by CC0 Public Domain). The Chinese traditionally view pigs as having a beautiful personality and their big ears and chubby faces means they are blessed with good fortune. The Earth Pig specifically is associated with lightness and abundance however budgets should be carefully managed. It is advised that well-considered actions will be rewarded more than risk-taking in this Pig Year.
The Chinese zodiac signs start with Rat and end with Pig so this is the close of a 12 year cycle. This indicates that it is a good time to take a break and review and learn from the previous 11 years. It should be a relaxing, motivating and happy year for most. More from Chinesenewyear.net.