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The Chinese Lunar New Year

The Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2600BC, when the Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the zodiac. Like the Western calendar, The Chinese Lunar Calendar is a yearly one, with the start of the lunar year being based on the cycles of the moon. Therefore, because of this cyclical dating, the beginning of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. This year it falls on February 12th. A complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles of 12 years each.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar names each of the twelve years after an animal. Legend has it that the Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from earth. Only twelve came to bid him farewell and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived. The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality, saying: "This is the animal that hides in your heart."
   
Rat   1924  1936  1948  1960  1972  1984  1996 
Ox    1925  1937  1949  1961  1973  1985  1997 
Tiger    1926  1938  1950  1962  1974  1986  1998 
Rabbit    1927  1939  1951  1963  1975  1987  1999 
Dragon    1928  1940  1952  1964  1976  1988  2000 
Snake    1929  1941  1953  1965  1977  1989  2001 
Horse    1930  1942  1954  1966  1978  1990  2002 
Sheep    1931  1943  1955  1967  1979  1991  2003 
Monkey    1932  1944  1956  1968  1980  1992  2004 
Rooster    1933  1945  1957  1969  1981  1993  2005 
Dog    1934  1946  1958  1970  1982  1994  2006 
Boar    1935  1947  1959  1971  1983  1995  2007 

Future New Year dates:

2003 - Feb 1
2004 - Jan 22
2005 - Feb 9
2006 - Jan 29
2007 - Feb 18 

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