Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year...2013: Year Of The Water Snake...

Today not only marks the first day of the luni-solar calendar, it is the first day of China’s two-week long New Year celebrations. The two-weeks will culminate with the Lantern Festival which falls on the day of the first Full Moon (the Virgo Full Moon, on February 25th) of the new calendar.  

This new cycle has us bidding farewell to the passing “wood cycle”, and the Black Dragon of 2012. In this year of 2013, we begin a “fire cycle” with the Chinese calendar symbol of the Water Snake. The influence of the ‘wood’ of last year was surrounded by luck, but things moved a bit slowly. With the new added ‘fire’ of 2013, expect things to pick up the pace considerably.

The sign of the Snake contains various elemental components/influences. In addition to the obvious element of water, it also consists of metal, earth, and fire (as it is in the group of fire signs). There is an opposition between the water and fire elements, so for those wondering what the coming year will bring, this opposition will effect most people the same – a mix of good and bad fortune.

Being the 6th animal of the Chinese horoscope, and an even number, the Snake represents “Yin” (female energy). In addition, the symbol has the male components of metal, earth, and fire. When dealing with someone born in a year of the Snake, you may see a soft exterior, but expect a tough interior.

There are all kinds of ways that the Chinese New Year is celebrated, and they are all fueled by tradition. For those of you celebrating the luni-solar New Year, I wish you a Happy New Year of the Water Snake!

(Left: for the New Year, red envelopes are given as gifts for good luck, and to ward off evil spirits; they usually contain money which adds to an even number (odd numbers are associated with funerals);
Right: Oranges are also traditionally given to extend good wishes and respect for the New Year)
(Left: 'Nian Gao', or New Year Cakes, are a traditional symbol of progress in ones daily life in the coming year; they are to promote the improvement in one's life year by year;
Right: 'Jiao Zi' are crescent moon shaped dumplings; they are a symbol of hope for a coming year of plenty.)
(The Knots above are made and hung in homes to promote good luck for the coming year.)


  1. Two weeks of celebration for them, two weeks of having to settle for a curry for me...

  2. Fascinating.. wish we Americans could celebrate for 2 weeks! I am a Year of the Rat, which I was told is very important in the cycle.

  3. Fascinating... I am a year of the rat, which I was told was important in the cycle. I could really use a bit of good fortune.. :)