Chinese New Year of the Rabbit kicks off 3 Feb 2011

This Thursday, 3 February, marks the start of the Year

of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese calendar. The Rabbit ( 兔 )

is the fourth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Despite its winter occurrence, in China it is known as “Spring Festival,” the literal translation of the Chinese name 春节 (Pinyin: Chūn Jié), owing to the difference between Western and traditional Chinese methods for computing the seasons.

Apparently those born in the year of the Rabbit are gracious, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky and flexible. They can however be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.

Do you know anyone born in the year of the Rabbit?

The New Year festival

begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: Zhēng Yuè) in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day. Chinese New Year’s Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as Chú Xī (除夕) or “Eve of the Passing Year.”

The Chinese New Year coincides with the Japanese and Korean New Year as well. So if you meet any of your Chinese, Japanese or Korean friends this week, wish them a Happy New Year! [Ed: In 1873, Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar, moving away from the Lunar calendar (but not the usual New Year traditions).]

Or better still, sign up for a course with Euroasia so you can greet them in their language!

Posted via email from Euroasia

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About The Author

Kenneth is Director of Euroasia. He is passionate about languages and cultures.


  1. Mr San says:

    I’m fairly sure Japan hasn’t celebrated the Lunar New Year since the Meiji Restoration of 1867…

  2. Ken Leong says:

    Yes Mr San. You’re right. Although the Japanese cultural traditions are still maintained, the celebrations take place on 1 Jan instead of the first day of the lunar year. According to Wikipedia, in 1873, Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar, so the first day of January is the official New Year’s Day in modern Japan.

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