2017 Chinese New Year 101

Following on the heels of the widely-celebrated Christmas and calendar New Year, the next major celebration in Australia is Chinese New Year. This year it will fall on 28th January. To welcome the Chinese New Year, Cultural Perspectives have prepared some facts that you might not know about the 2017 Chinese New Year:

Key Dates

As Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, the date of the New Year’s Day varies each year. It is usually between late January and late February.

Some key dates for you to look out for during 2017 Chinese New Year are:

·        New Year’s Eve: 27th January. New Year Eve is the last day of the year which indicates the closure of the past year.

·        New Year’s Day: 28th January. What is equally important and celebrated as the New Year Eve is New Year Day. It means a new beginning.

·        15th Day of the New Year: 11th February, known as Lantern Festival. It usually signifies the end of the Chinese New Year celebration.  

Festive Food

In northern China, dumplings are considered as the new year food that are prepared for the new year; while in southern China, a spread of meal including a wide variety of dishes is usually prepared.  Sticky rice balls are eaten particularly on the Lantern Festival day for its round shape that culturally means family reunion and happiness.

Chinese Zodiac

There are twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac and they are rotated to represent a year with certain attributes attached to people who are born in the year. 2017 is the year of Rooster.

Rooster represents good qualities such as diligence, confidence, being hard-working and observant. The rooster is perceived in the Chinese culture as the first animal to rise in the morning and crow, indicating the beginning of a new day. People born in the year of rooster are said to have these qualities and personalities.

Chinese Five-element Scheme

Chinese Five-element Scheme is a conceptual scheme in the Chinese philosophy that explains all phenomena. They are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water.

2017 is the Year of Fire Rooster. The element Fire represents energy.