Chinese New Year 2020: the sign of the Rat

Written by Alison

Xin nian kuaile! Happy New Year! The Chinese calendar is a soli-lunar calendar, the New Year's date varies from year to year, but it is still between January 21st and February 19th. It is the second new moon after the winter solstice. For us, this period corresponds to the dates of Aquarius. The year 2021 in the Chinese calendar begins on February 12, 2021: it is the year of the Ox, the second sign of the Chinese zodiac. This is the beginning of a 12-year cycle, an enterprising, dynamic, and optimistic year.

2021 is a perfect year to launch a project, concretize an idea, change your life, or start anew. It's a year of decisions that will affect the next 12 years. It is, therefore, essential to think before taking an important initiative, even if the atmosphere encourages a rapid and positive change in objectives. A few days before the festivities, the Chinese clean their house to chase away bad luck. During the New Year, family meals and religious ceremonies take place in tribute to their ancestors. The famous "Dragon Dance" is animated by a group of disguised dancers; this dance can reach several tens of meters!
The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac come from a legend, which says that in the New Year, Buddha invited all the animals of his kingdom and twelve introduced themselves. To thank them, Buddha gave them each a year during which they are celebrated. During the holidays, everyone dresses in red because it brings good luck and attracts fortune. The last meal of the festivities consists of a big fish: the more leftovers there are, the more prosperous the year! Finally, fireworks and firecrackers keep evil spirits away for the whole year.

The Rat

Your dynamic, expressive temperament loves celebrations, but is wary of the reckless spending involved. This New Year should live up to your expectations: flamboyant interior red paper decorations and a few tasty delicacies in the same colour, to bring good fortune and prosperity, with cookies to add to the fun. All this will be less expensive than caviar or venison, whilst being much more exotic!
Your proverb or motto: "If you are content with what you have, you are already rich." Lao-Tzu.

The Ox

Here is an excellent opportunity for relaxation, which you will have fully deserved, being such a hard worker! Your love of customs and family reunions is perfectly in tune with this season of festivity and wishes for good fortune throughout the year. Here you have an opportunity to excel in your culinary skills, with simple but very symbolic dishes. Don't hesitate to search the net, which abounds with good, traditional recipes.
Your proverb or motto: "He who does not progress each day, takes a step backwards every day." Confucius.

The Tiger

Your natural creative flair means you will adore the preparation of a Chinese celebration meal! Anything goes, as long as you follow certain rules: scarlet decorations to attract prosperity to your home; fortune cookies to amuse your friends and family; and don't forget to include the obligatory fish dish, in copious amounts, as the leftovers (though this could just be the fishbone) will ensure you financial security for the whole of next year.
Your proverb or motto: "You can only see your own faults through the eyes of others." Book of Chinese Proverbs - 2nd Century B.C.

The Rabbit

Here's an opportunity for Rabbits to spoil their loved-ones as they so love to do. Add a touch of magic to the world of your friends and family with an original and unconventional celebration meal. Quick research will give you all the pointers, from an unusual meal to the cheeky little cookies, not to mention the decorations abounding with zest for life and sincere good wishes. You will provide great amusement for children, if you let them help you on this occasion.
Your proverb or motto: "A good speech can do some good, but a good example speaks more directly to the heart". Book of Chinese Wisdom - 1876.

The Dragon

You love starting things and you're not bothered about doing it all again less than two months after western celebrations! You will therefore fully enjoy the pleasure of gathering your friends together and wishing them prosperity with a generosity that can only reinforce your prestige. Make lists, because your shopping items will be more unconventional than usual: red paper, fortune cookies, fish for the celebration meal and firecrackers to celebrate the New Year!
Your special proverb: "Experience is like a candle, which only gives light to the one who bears it." Confucius

The Snake

Here's another great opportunity to devote yourself to your favourite activity: getting your family and loved-ones together around a celebration meal that will be both festive and traditional. As a keen and talented cook, you will be keen to make your cookies yourself and won't forget to prepare the ritual fish, whose remains will ensure your prosperity throughout the year. Delegate the cutting out and collages of red paper to your children, to complete the atmosphere!
Your proverb or motto: "Look scrupulously at yourself, but only discreetly at others." Confucius

The Horse

With your fiery, optimistic temperament, you love celebrations, especially if they contain an element of the exotic or the unusual. With your habit of putting on a great spread, you will take care you have some left over after your celebration meal, as a guarantee you won't lack for anything next year. If you are going to aim big, look to the detail! Decorations, cookies and cut-out figures are a must, as well as spring-cleaning your home!
Your proverb or motto: "All the flowers of the future are in today's sowings." Chinese Proverbs and Sayings - 1882.

The Goat

For you, this is a wonderful opportunity to discover far-eastern customs and traditions at their most festive and convivial. Go for it! Surprise those close to you with an exotic celebration meal, filled with colour and zest for life. With a bit of love and imagination, you will organise an evening that will remain engraved on everyone's hearts.
Your proverb or motto: "A small income every day is worth more than a large fortune." Chinese proverbs - 1909.

The Monkey

You will leap at any opportunity for a celebration, but it would be a good idea to imbue yourself with the symbolic value of the New Year, with all its promise for the future, and the importance of decisions taken and projects begun. A good way to mark the occasion is to gather your loved-ones around an unconventional meal table and play the game, with fortune cookies filled with wisdom or wishes written on red paper...
Your proverb or motto: "A response that doesn't resolve a problem creates thousands of others." China in Proverbs - 1909.

The Rooster

Another reference point for your sign, which is very attached to the rhythms of the seasons and balance in all things. Relax this year by organising a celebration meal that will be out of the common and could only win over your loved-ones, who won't be used to such exotic fantasies. With your customary skill, you will have knocked up a delightful meal at no cost and in no time, with fish and home-made fortune cookies, as well as decorating your home with masks and dragons that will be larger than life.
Your proverb or motto: "The man who is patient on a day of anger will escape a hundred days of remorse." Chinese Proverbs - 1909

The Dog

There is a shadowy side in you, inclining towards pessimism and criticism, which sometimes makes you unapproachable. Now is the time to unwind by surprising everyone with an unusual celebration meal. Vivid red decorations to warm people's hearts, little cookies to bring happiness and a traditional meal with all the symbols of prosperity: that's what will define you better than any declarations of love or friendship, with which you are generally sparing.
Your proverb or motto: "A good man is just and upright, but not rigid and inflexible. He knows when to yield, but not bend over backwards." Confucius

The Pig

For a lover of sensual pleasure like you, an extra celebration meal can only be a delight! In the space of an evening, you will be able to forget your potential worries in convivial warmth, full of plans and wishes of prosperity. Your natural love of good food will lead you towards the most appropriate dishes for the occasion and you will take great pleasure in adorning your home with bright red paper decorations.
Your special proverb: "Better to add life to your years than years to your life." Chinese Proverbs and Sayings - 1822.


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