Gung Hei Fat Choi: Welcome To The Year Of The Rooster

In the United States, New Year’s Day is always celebrated on January 1. The Lunar New Year, however, falls on different dates every year. This year, it’s on Saturday, January 28. According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2017 will be Year of the Rooster. Curious about the zodiac? Let’s take a look at some fun facts.

New Year: New Animal

The Chinese Zodiac is made up of the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar, in that order. Every dozen years, they rotate back through from the top. There are several stories about the animals, how they were chosen, and why they’re in that order. As one legend has it, long ago (in a galaxy far far away?) the Jade Emperor decided there needed to be an accurate way to measure time. So he told the animals there would be a swimming race. The first 12 animals to finish the race would get a year named after them, and their finish order would determine the sequence. Let’s just say the rat was a little sneaky, the pig was hungry, and the cat was out of luck. So there’s no Year of the Cat, except maybe this song.

Many believe that people born in a given year take on the qualities of that year’s patron animal. We’re now in the Year of the Rooster, which will return in 2029. Find your birth year in this chart from The Mind’s Journal to see which zodiac animal you’re associated with.


So…Let’s Say You Were Born in 1969, or 1981, or 1993

That would make you a rooster. Typically, you’re a confident type. Roosters strut around on a farm, and you do, too. You’re confident, hardworking, outspoken, courageous, and talented. You know where you’ve been and where you’re going. What’s Your Sign adds “Even though roosters tend to strut their stuff, they’re not all braggadocio. They actually have a soft spot, and can be surprisingly sentimental. They are also extremely protective. They’ll tear down the veils of heaven and hell to protect the ones they love. Do not ever mess with a rooster who is protecting a loved one.”

But there’s more to it. There are five different types of roosters! Depending on the year you were born, you could be a wood, fire, earth, gold, or water rooster. As an example, 2017 is the year of the fire rooster. China Highlights says the fire rooster is “Trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work.” The workforce of the future had better be ready when babies born in this year grow up.

Dude, Where’s The Party?

Want to join the celebration? The largest metro areas are going to throw the biggest parties, naturally. VOA News has a helpful list of some of the bigger U.S. bashes, including New York City and San Francisco. New York will hold an event on January 28, the Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival, but their big bash will be held on February 5. On the other side of the country, San Francisco’s parade on February 11 will be highlighted by a 268 foot Golden Dragon called the Gum Lung. It takes over 100 men and women to pilot it through the streets of San Francisco. The parade will be held rain or shine. Here’s a preview of the Gum Lung in action:

Let’s Learn More

Want to learn more about the Chinese Zodiac? Check out this TED Talk.

Want to learn more about Lunar New Year traditions? Read about them here.

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