The Chinese New Year of 2018 officially begins on Feb. 16, and the zodiac sign of the year is the dog.
One out of every five people in the world is Chinese. More than 20 percent of people celebrate Chinese New Year all over the world.
It is the most important festival for all Chinese people.
In China, people usually call it “chunjie(春节)” or the Spring Festival. It represents the end of those coldest days, and people welcome a new season of starting a new year.
It is also known as the Lunar New Year. Some Asian countries such as North Korea, South Korea and Vietnam celebrate it as well.
Many people might confuse why it begins in February because people always calculate the date within the solar (Gregorian) calendar. There is no set date for Chinese New Year. According to the lunar calendar, the day corresponding to Jan. 1 for 2018 is Feb. 16.
“It’s been nine years since I celebrated Chinese New year with my family because I came to the U.S. in 2009. The winter break is totally different between China and the U.S. The Chinese New Year is always much later than winter break, and I have to [go] back to school before I can celebrate,” said student Yixiong Sun.
In Western countries, they have 12 different horoscopes and one for each month. In China, they also have 12 Chinese zodiacs, but these 12 animals are one for each entire year.
According to the order, the 12 Chinese zodiacs are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. And the year 2018 is the year of the dog.
This year is the “benming year(本命年)” for those people born in the year 2018 or recurrent year in the twelve-year cycle. That means you are born in the year of the dog as well. If you were born in the year of the dog, your age should be 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, etc. in 2018.
It is believed that people born in the year of dog will be very unlucky this whole year. One of the explanations for this in Chinese culture is that people think babies born in that year were easily taken by demons in ancient China.
“This year is my parents’ ‘benming year’. I really want to celebrate it with them, but I have class and I can’t go back to China,” said student Jingjing Yuan.
Chinese think if people want to avoid all the unlucky, the best way is to adorn themselves and their surroundings in red. People can decorate their home in red for protection, the typical way is to wear red clothes, including even red underwear.
People not only celebrate Chinese new year in China or other Asian countries. The U.S., England and Australia observe it as well. Visitors can definitely get a feel for the event if they go to their local Chinatown.
In CSUSB, the Chinese Student Association hosts an annual event for celebrating Chinese New Year.
“We hope all CSUSB students can join us to celebrate this big event together and we wish all of them to have a happy new year,” said Junjie Wang, the President of CSUSB Chinese Student Association.