In the Western world, we celebrate New Year at midnight on December 31st, as January 1st officially begins. This is a time to celebrate new beginnings and opportunities, acknowledging the year that has past, and planning for the one that is about to start. We use the Gregorian calendar, and while this is used throughout China, they also observe a Chinese calendar when keeping track of festivals, holidays, and religious ceremonies. With the Chinese New Year 2020 nearing, here’s everything that you need to understand about it, including what it symbolizes, why it’s important, and which animal will be in power throughout 2020.
What is the animal for Chinese New Year 2020?
The Chinese New Year 2020 is a little different to the Western idea of a New Year. We view each year as representing the end of a cycle. The Earth has just completed one whole orbit around the sun, and so the energies of the Earth are returning to a neutral space. Each New Year is separate from the rest, in the sense that the beginning of 2020 isn’t connected to the beginning of 2021 or 2022.
With each new year, an cycle is closed and a new beginning comes, new hopes and goals arise to you, a world of new possibilities are there to be taken.
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When is chinese new year ? Saturday, January 25 – Year of the Rat begins
The dating is just one way that the Chinese New Year 2020 differs from our celebration. We also have to consider the Chinese Zodiac, which ties directly in with each New Year.
When discussing the Zodiac signs, you may be familiar with the likes of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus, Scorpio, and so on, but the Chinese Zodiac is a little bit different. There are still 12 signs, but they take on the embodiment of an animal.
You have the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and the Pig. Every year, a new animal becomes the dominant power, so what is the animal for Chinese New Year 2020?
January 25th, 2020 marks the beginning of a new Chinese year, and this year will be reigned over by the Rat. The Chinese Zodiac works similarly to the Zodiac you may be more familiar with, in that your moment of birth aligns you with a specific Zodiac, and each one then represents a different personality or journey through life. But how does the year of the Rat change the upcoming year in compassion to the other signs?
What does the Chinese New Year symbolize?
As with many other New Year traditions, the Chinese New Year 2020 is used as a time of reflection. It’s a period that brings families together to honor each other, but also to pay their respects to those who have passed on that year as well as the ancestors who left the material world many generations ago.
As with the end of any cycle, we view this time as an opportunity to reflect, recuperate, and prepare for what is to come the following year. Many use this celebration as a way of reconnecting with their deeper spiritual selves, often with help from spiritual guides, including ancestors.
We already mentioned that the Chinese New Year 2020 will be the Year of the Rat, but what does this mean? What does the Chinese New Year symbolize? Well, in order to understand that, we need to explore why the rat is considered the first of the Chinese Zodiac animals.
As the story goes, the Jade Emperor was preparing to decide the order of the Zodiacs. He considered ranking them in size, but he deemed it unfair. Perhaps they could go in order of strength, he wondered, or maybe by intelligence and cunning?
Ultimately, he decided that the only fair way to determine the order was with a race. The Rat, being clever and sneaky, tricked the Ox into giving him a ride on his back. Just as they neared the finish line, the Rat jumped off and crossed the finish line, making him the first Zodiac sign.
What does the Rat Zodiac Represent?
The Rat represents the start of a new day; the beginning of something unfamiliar and uncharted. The Rat is associated with wealth, not just financial wealth, but also happiness, joy, friends, opportunities, and much more. When it comes to exploring the personality of individuals born under this sign, we find that this Zodiac is considered likeable, but its words will often land it in trouble.
In terms of what the Chinese New Year has in store under the Sign of the Rat, we can see that determination is a key factor. This new beginning presents you with an opportunity and a choice. You must decide between two paths:
The first is the path of least resistance
You can simply allow the year to pass you by and continue living your life as you have been doing up until now.
The second path requires you to push yourself, mentally, physically, and spirituality.
Seize the opportunity and work toward your goals in order to achieve them.
This coming year can be one of evolution and growth, provided you dedicate yourself to this change. Don’t lose yourself in short-term projects when you can be investing in the long-term. Plan each move before you make it, and don’t make blind investments.
Now that we have a better understanding of what to expect during the Year of the Rat, how long is the Chinese New Year 2020?
How long is the Chinese New Year 2020?
We often view the Gregorian calendar as being the same every year, but we forget that we get leap years every 4 years. All calendars used to be based on the lunar cycles, and in a sense, most still are. That is the case with the Chinese year, which follows the Chinese lunar calendar.
As such, the day of the Chinese New Year 2020 will be different from that of 2019 or 2021. We start the New Year on January 25th, but it will end on February 11th, 2021. The latter of these dates will mark the beginning of a New Year as we enter into the Year of the Ox.
The length of the entire Chinese Year is a little different to the length of the celebrations of the New Year. In the West, we generally celebrate New Year for just one evening. New Year’s Eve takes place on December 31st and it’s traditional to stay up with friends and family until midnight in order to welcome the year in.
In China, the celebrations are a little longer lasting. Public holidays take place from January 24th until January 30th, giving the locals a whole week off from work.
However, many people will enjoy more than 10 days off in an unofficial capacity. The first day always begins on the eve of the New Year, but it can run on as much as two weeks as this date marks the Lantern Festival that takes place in China. With that in mind, how do you celebrate New Year in China?
How do you celebrate New Year in China?
Many celebrations of the New Year are relatively similar regardless of where you are in the world. This is the case with the Chinese New Year, which involves some of the more common methods of expressing joy, happiness, and love.
Many believe that this is due to the fact that Chinese culture has celebrated this day for longer than human historical records span, and so many modern traditions actually stem from these activities.
The bright colors of the Chinese New Year celebrations are known throughout the world. You can expect to see bright reds, yellows, and oranges, especially in the form of mighty dragons and of course the other animals of the Zodiac.
Fireworks will light up the night’s sky, and it’s the perfect opportunity to spend time with family and friends in order to be reminded of what you have, and to show gratitude for it. Many use this day as chance to share their wealth with those they care about, and in fact it’s common to get rid of old items in exchange for newer version. Think of it as being like wiping the slate clean.
The Chinese New Year 2020 will also be a festival of food, music, and dance. However, this is also a time of prayer and worship, especially to one’s ancestors. It’s important that the roots of this celebration are respected, even during the height of the partying.
What is the Chinese calendar for 2020?
As we enter the Year of the Rat, you may be wondering what we can learn from the Chinese calendar. In fact, what is the Chinese calendar for 2020? We can see that there are specific dates that stand out in the coming year. Each one offers energies that will benefit certain actions, while hindering others. Let’s explore some of these days and consider the type of activities you could be taking part in. We will continue to use the Gregorian calendar dates in order to avoid confusion.
February 4th, 2020 – This day marks the perfect type of energy for a wedding. It might be you that’s getting married, or not, but enjoyment will be had by all, and it will certainly be a memory to look back on fondly.
June 21st, 2020 – Today will mark the beginning of the end of summer. Following the summer solstice, which will be on June 20th, we find that this is the perfect day for starting fresh. If you’re planning to move to a new house or even drastically redecorate/refurbish, this is the day to do it.
September 10th, 2020 – This day will represent a change in your luck and fortunes. If you’re planning to sign a contract, start a new job, or take a chance, this will be a good day for it. However, some people will face situations that are far less positive, such as funerals. As far as the Chinese New Year 2020 goes, you’ll find that the service is incredibly peaceful and, in a sense, almost comforting.
What should you not do on Chinese New Year?
When it comes to the Chinese New Year, there are a number of superstitions or taboos that should be respected. These tend to just apply to the first day of the New Year (i.e. January 25th), but some people will avoid taking part in these acts for the entirety of the celebrations.
Each of these actions is believed to bind you with a certain type of energy that will force you down an unplanned and unwanted path. So, what should you not do on Chinese New Year?
Let’s start with what might be your standard morning rituals. Some of you will likely eat porridge for breakfast every day. Sadly, eating porridge is viewed as being a path to poverty if done on New Year’s Day.
Your next daily task might be to have a shower. Don’t worry, you can shower, but don’t wash your hair as it’s believed to wash away any good luck.
Speaking of luck, be sure to avoid any unlucky words. One of the most common examples of an unlucky word in Chinese culture is ‘death’. Saying this word during the celebrations of the Chinese New Year is believed to lead to death.
This is the last thing you want happening to you as visiting a hospital will bring you illness if done during this time period. This also applies to taking any medicines, and some people will go as far as to break their medicine pots in order to ward away any negative spirits that may wish to curse them with sickness.
Why is Chinese New Year important?
As we learn more about Chinese New Year, you may still have some questions. Why is Chinese New Year important? Why don’t we all just celebrate New Year at the same time? The truth is that many in China do celebrate New Year on December 31st/January 1st. However, they will also take part in a more traditional celebration when they enter into the year of a new Zodiac.
It’s important that all cultures retain aspects of their ancestors, especially in relation to traditions. The Chinese New Year 2020 is an opportunity, among other things, to respect the past and pay homage to the generations that have come before us.
It’s a time where we can respect the changing world while still appreciating the past. Our roots represent the early stages of our growth, and they are an essential part of where we are today. So, when you celebrate the Chinese New Year, be sure to think about how the direction of humanity was shaped by those who walked the Earth long ago.