What is this year's Chinese New Year Animal? What do these animals represent? How many are there?
There are twelve Chinese New Year Animals according to the Chinese Zodiac.
Babies that are born under a particular Chinese New Year animal will adopt the characteristics of that animal.
For example, children born in the year
of the Dragon will inherit the energy, power and wisdom of the Dragon.
You can see in the table below which animal corresponds to which year. You will notice they rotate in 12-year cycles.
You can look up the year you were born to find out which Chinese New Year animal is yours, and then
click on your animal to find out what its qualities are!
Because each Chinese New Year starts in late January or early February according to the lunar cycle, if your birthday falls into this period, your
animal might be the previous year's animal. For example, if you were born in January 2010, even though 2010 is the Year of the Tiger, you are an Ox instead because
the Year of the Tiger did not begin until February 14, 2010. You can check the exact dates for Chinese New Year here.
Each year we celebrate a different animal which according to the traditions, helps determine that year's fortune.
That animal will be featured right and center in all the Chinese New Year
celebrations for that year. You are likely to see displays around town in that animal's shape for example, like this
Year of the Rooster lantern display in Shanghai:
...or these Year of the Pig decorations in Canton:
...and the streets fully decked up for the Year of the Horse in Singapore:
Coins and stamps for collectors are issued with that year's lucky animal throughout the world, as well as greeting cards and red envelopes.
Here's more on the Chinese Zodiac and how the 12 animals were selected.
More Chinese New Year Traditions and Celebrations
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