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Kiweenie's picture

Year of the Kiwi

Happy New Year! What, you think I'm crazy because it's way after January 1st? Well, I'm not talking about the end of the western calendar year kind of new year, I'm talking about the Chinese New Year!


You see, in the western world, we go by a different calendar than the Eastern world. We consider this year to be 2008, but in China they go by the lunar calendar on which the year is 4706.

 

Chinese New Year FirecrackersInstead of a fixed date for the first day of the new year (Like January 1st) the Lunar New Year changes every year. It starts on the day of the first new moon of the year, and ends 15 days later when the moon is full. This means that by our calendar Chinese New Year can fall anytime between late January to late February.

 

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are giant family oriented holidays in China. People travel all across the country to be with their family and to enjoy big meals together, but it's not just immediate family that is thought about. It's very important that ancestors are remembered and honored during the new year celebration as well.

 

There are lots of traditions surrounding the new year, including cleaning the house from top to bottom, and paying off any debts. Another tradition is giving red envelopes filled with money to kids. In China, the color red symbolized happiness, and it is believed that giving money will bring luck in the upcoming year.

 

Of course the new year is also celebrated with fireworks and firecrackers. Firecrackers are little packages of gunpowder rolled up in pieces of red paper (for good luck) that are strung together in long rows. That way you only have to light one end, and all the firecrackers explode down the row. They can be strung together in the hundreds and they make really loud noises (which some say scares away any bad spirits).

Year of the Rat

 

The Chinese New Year also corresponds with the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. A new animal is represented every year and people born during this time are supposed to take on the characteristics of the animal. This year the animal is the rat. You might think that rats are scary or gross, but being born in the year of the rat symbolizes wit, imagination, curiosity and a lot of energy. Hmm, that sounds more like the year of the kiwi bird to me.

 


Class dismissed! Happy Chinese New Year to you all!

redsectora's picture

I'm Raising my hand!

Tim was born in the year of the Pig. What does that make him?

Kiweenie's picture

Lucky boy!

When you're born during the year of the pig, it means you will be loyal and trustworthy. Being born in the year of the pig also means that you will have a very lucky life. In fact there are many more babies born in China during the year of the pig, because parents want a lucky life for their children. Tim is one lucky kid!

horse_girl_96's picture

my year!!

I was born in the year of the rat! thanks, professor kiweenie!

F.W.'s picture

Wow!

You were just born and you already know how to use the internet and type?! That's amazing!

 

horse_girl_96's picture

wrong idea, F.W.

no i wasn't born this year of the rat. i was born in a past year of the rat.

F.W.'s picture

Whoops.

Oh, sorry about that. I guess that makes more sense. I just know that people are learning to use computers at a really early age now, so I got carried away thinking about some funny little baby genius who is already leaving comments on the internet.

It would probably be hard to type with those chubby little hands, and there would also probably be a lot of drool on the mouse!

horse_girl_96's picture

it's OK

it's okay, F.W. you're right, though. kids are learning to use the computer at an early age nowadays.

PS:my friend wants to know what F.W. stands for.

redsectora's picture

I know!

Did F.W. ever tell you what his initials stand for? I know, but I won't tell unless he says it's ok.

F.W.'s picture

What!?

You know? You don't know! How could you know?! It's a secret! Who told you?

It better not have been Ramses!

horse_girl_96's picture

Why?

Why is it a secret? Do you think you have an embarrassing name? I think my name sounds funny(my real name), but when I tell other people noone ever laughs.If you don't want to tell,though, that's OK.

Dolphin_girl_97's picture

What Animal am I????

Hi Kiweenie, i have a question. I was born in 1997 and i was wondering what animal represents me!!! can you tell me please?????

Kiweenie's picture

Unfortunately there's no dolphin zodiac

It matters what month you were born in (if it was in January or February then you might be a Rat by the Chinese calendar) but otherwise your are an OX!

 

Here are the Ox's traits

Ox- quiet, creative, quick to anger, excellent memory, hard-working, loyal to family, skillful with hands, responsible, self-confident .

 

How does that fit you? Do you feel like an Ox?

Dolphin_girl_97's picture

What animal am i again!!!!

i was born in March 1997. Can you now tell me what animal i am? PLEASE!!!!!!

Kiweenie's picture

Definitely an OX

If you were born in March you are definitely an OX (see above). Happy Birthday by the way!

Dolphin_girl_97's picture

That fits me!!!

Thanks Kiweenie!!!!! I am an Ox and it fits me!!!! you can ask my friend Horse_Girl_96. she is around me all the time!!!! Thanks again!

gomoo's picture

Another one!!

I've known my animal since I was five!
when I was five (and before then) my favroite animal was a tiger (and still is) I was reading a book about China when I got to the Chinese new year page... there it was! I was a TIGER!!! What does that mean?
P.S. I was born october the 18th

go moo-cow! go Ramses! go F.W.! go Keby! go Kiweenie!
go willy t.! go Rhetorical! go! go! go! goooooooo!

Kiweenie's picture

Tigers

Tigers are born to be great leaders. They like to take charge and be in control of things. And just like real tigers, they are very courageous.

Of course, since you like to be in control it can also mean you can tend to be bossy at times, and demanding of others. What do you think, does it sound like you?

bigyboy's picture

i need help

i need help too! i was born in the year of the snake(2001) what does the snake mean?p.s. i am going to china too!

Kiweenie's picture

Snakes

Snakes tend to be quiet, but that doesn't mean they aren't paying attention. Snakes like to learn new things in all different subjects, and can make great teachers (I must be a snake too!) Snakes also have a charming personality, and can get along with most people.

 

The things snakes can have trouble doing is forgiving. If someone makes them angry, they often have a hard time forgetting about it.

 

P.S. I hope you have as much fun in China as we are having! Check out my language lesson on Friday to learn some useful phrases.

Becky's picture

What about me?

Hey Kiweenie, I was born in the year of the dragon. What does that make me?

Kiweenie's picture

Dragon

Wow Becky, you're lucky! The dragon is the most powerful sign in the Chinese zodiac! Dragons tend to be very ambitious and creative. They attract many friends, but they don't like to go out too much, as dragons prefer being alone.
Because they like to be alone, dragons can come off as snobby, or aloof.

 

Also, because dragons tend to have big ideas they can get exhausted easily.
The dragon is also the only sign in the Chinese zodiac that is a mythological creature. Pretty neat, huh?

plati x9's picture

Just another Zodiac question

If I was born in Oct. '96, would that make me rat, or Ox?

Kiweenie's picture

It's your year!

You are a Rat! That means this is your year right now! I hope that brings lots of good fortune and happy times for you.

redsectora's picture

Shhhhhhhh, be vewwwy, vewwwy quiet

I'm a rabbit! Am I "wascally"?

Kiweenie's picture

Rabbit

Rabbits aren't wascally, wabbits...I mean rabbits...tend to be very friendly and liked by others. Rabbits are also serene animals, and don't like to get into argument with others if they can help it.

 

Wabbits--whoops I did it again! Rabbits also like to learn about different cultures and can make good teachers. Sound like you?

Dolphin_girl_97's picture

What is my cousins year???

my cousin was born in 96, would that make her a rat????

Kiweenie's picture

A Rat!

Yup, as long as she was born after Feb. 19th then she's a rat alright. This is her big year!

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