Happy Chinese Year of the Rooster

Today 28th January 2017 marks the start of the year of the rooster. Chinese new year has long been celebrated in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. Of course today, it inspires celebrations around the globe.

Celebrating Chinese New Year at Sheffield Street City Food Market avec Music

The timing of the Chinese new year is based upon a lunar calendar and hence the date varies against the Georgian calendar. The chinese new year begins  when there is a new moon between 21January and 20th February.

Each year is associated with an animal. As the calendar is different, from the lunar calendar those born in January / February’s Chinese new year birth animal may vary, I recommend if checking Chinese birth animal to use the calculater on the following website, it als provides Chinese horoscope for the year other interesting information.


The sequence the years of animals  is according to the number of claws or hooves they have. The rat is first in the sequence as it is unusual and therefore valued having four toes on front legs and 5 on it’s back. Followed sequentially by ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

Different years are also characterised by a sequence of 12 branches that do not repeat in line with the animals. In Mandarin the 12 branches are zi, chou, yin, mao, chen, si, wu, wei, shen, you.  In Cantonese the 12 branches are zi2, cau2, jan4, maau5, san4, zi6, ng5, mei6, san1, jau5. Hence in Mandarin you can be  a zi rat, a  chou rat etc… A further layer of complexity is years alternate between either being Yin or Yang. Yin and Yang are types of energies they are opposites but, need to exist together.

To simplify celebrations; chines food is delicious. Red is a lucky colour at Chinese new year … as the advert says money is often given in red envelopes. In particular when an individual’s birth year comes around every 12 years, as that is thought of as unlucky for them they should try to counteract that by wearing red.