Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

2011 is the Year of the Rabbit. The Chinese also calls the New Year's Celebration the "Spring Festival." And... February 3, 2011 is the first day of the Chinese New Year, so HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

Well... are you curious why the rabbit, or the other animal representations (in previous and coming years)? Here’s my attempt at trying to tell you a little bit more about it. Each year is designated by one of the 12 Animals. The Chinese calendar uses a unique counting system (sexagenary cycle) and there are two branches. The first position (heavenly stem) uses 10 numbers and the second (earthly branch, which is what we are referring to here) uses 12 numbers i.e. 1 to 12 represented by the following animals:

1: Rat (2008)
2: Ox (2009)
3: Tiger (2010)
4: Hare or Rabbit (2011)
5: Dragon (2012)
6: Snake (2013)
7: Horse (2014)
8: Sheep (2015)
9: Monkey (2016)
10: Rooster (2017)
11: Dog (2018)
12: Pig (2019)

Here's a chart with the year born:

What this means is if the current year is 2011 (Year of the Rabbit), any one who was born in the Year of the Rabbit is either 4 or 16, 28, 40, 52, 64, 76, 88 or 100 years old (just add 12 for each number).

Therefore, instead of asking "How old are you?" you can ask "In which (animal) year were you born?" One (especially for a child or an elderly person who often lose track of their age) just have to remember that he or she was born in the "Year of the Snake" (that's me!).

My friends, in which (animal) year were you born?

And just before I go on another round of merry celebration, here's a collage of our reunion dinner last night by Mom!

View the album at my Facebook (the link's public).