For some 2014 is hours away or is already here, but Jan. 1 isn’t the only day people will be celebrating the New Year. The Chinese New Year, also known as known as Spring Festival, will fall on Jan. 31, 2014. The event is celebrated on a different day each year since the Chinese calendar is lunisolar -- taking into account both the earth and moon’s movement.
In China, the holiday is the most important social and economic event of the year-- traditionally linked to honoring the household, heavenly gods and ancestors. Today, China celebrates Jan. 1 as New Year’s Day, but the country continues to mark the Spring Festival as a time to spend with family and relax from work.
Typically the holiday begins on New Year’s Eve (according to the Chinese calendar) and lasts for 15 days. Families tend to clean their homes in the days leading up to the celebration but all dusts and brooms are hidden during holiday so that “good luck can not be swept away.” The holiday itself is usually spent with family, shopping, watching fireworks and in some cases -- a religious ceremony honoring heaven, earth and other deities.
Each year corresponds to a different zodiac sign and animal. The Chinese zodiac consists of 12 animals that denote a person’s birth known as shengxiao: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each of the animals is named after one favored by the Buddha and is said to influence an individual’s personality.
In 2014, it will be the year of the Horse. Known as Wu, those born during the year of the Horse tend to be clever, possess good communication skills, are cheerful and stubborn. In 2014, they are expected to have a good year and are advised to be quiet and patient. Other predications call for people to make the most out of given opportunities, expect good health and a year where romance and career will be in harmony.