This Tuesday, February 5 the year begins in China, which will last until January 25, 2020 and will be dedicated to the last of the Chinese zodiac animals: the pig.
The reason that the new year in China is celebrated a month later than in the rest of the West is that the Asian country resorts for celebrations to a lunisolar calendar, which is based on the phases of the sun and the moon.
Thus, to determine the beginning of the year, the phases of the moon are studied and it is determined that the new year takes place on the first new moon of the first lunar month (that is, between January 20 and February 20).
Why is it the Year of the Pig?
Legend has it in China that the Jade Emperor invited the animals of the earth to visit him in his abode in heaven. So pleased was the owner and lord of heaven and earth for the visit, that he decided to divide the years according to the twelve beasts that attended the appointment.
The order that the animals follow in the zodiac is the same as they had when they went to the Emperor's home: the rat, the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster , the dog, the pig … and back to start.
If you were born during a year assigned to the pig, get ready to twelve months full of good news.
Animals and … metals?
The years in China are assigned to certain elements (Venus, metal, Jupiter, wood, Mercury, water, Mars, fire and Saturn, earth) that are present in the calendar every two years.
Each animal of the zodiac is related to a certain element: the metal is that of the monkey and the rooster; the land of the ox, the goat and the dog; the fire of the serpent and the horse; the wood of the tiger, the rabbit and the dragon and finally the water of the rat and the pig.
An animal it matches its element every sixty years. According to popular belief, being born in one year or another gives one certain personality traits. This astrological calendar can even affect the personal decisions that one takes in his life, such as getting married.
Other traditions of the Chinese New Year
The color red plays a important role for the Chinese festivities of New Year: both in the decorations, as in the dresses, going through the envelopes with money with which couples tend to entertain the little ones.
This tradition has its origin in another legend about a terrible monster called Nian that was dedicated to feast with poor farmers during the last night of the lunar calendar. A recurrent and terrible event that a man managed to stop decorating all the houses of the place of red color, dressing in red and throwing all possible firecrackers to scare the monster.