Welcome to the Year of the Horse…

Beijing horse

Xin Nian Kuai Le, 新年快乐
Standard Mandarin (the most widely used Chinese)

Gong Hei Fard Choy, 恭喜发财
Cantonese (Mainly Hong Kong and Macau)

Xing Ni Ju Yi, 新年如意
Teochew/ Hokkien (Mainly in South East Asia and Taiwan)

Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated on the first day of the year of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year“.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year

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This year’s Chinese New Year celebration on January 31, 2014 will usher in the Year of the Horse. Gong Xi Fa Ca

Over 1.36 billion people in China and millions around the world will celebrate the first day of the Chinese New Year on January 31, 2014. It’s the most important of Chinese holidays, kicking off a celebration that lasts for 15 days and culminates with the Lantern Festival. Each year is associated with one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. For 2014, it’ll be the Year of the Horse.

69c46740d883ceebd92c217f144cdc23There are several variations on the mythology behind Chinese New Year celebrations. Most are based on a ugly bloodthirsty monster named Nian that would emerge on the last night of each year to destroy villages and eat people. A wise elder advised villagers to scare the monster away with loud noises. That night, they set fire to bamboo, lit fireworks, and banged their drums. The monster, afraid of the loud noises and lights, ran away to hide in its cave. In another version of the myth, an old man persuaded Nian to turn its wrath on other monsters, not the villagers. Before he was seen riding away on Nian, the old man, actually a god, advised the people to hang red paper decorations in their homes and set off firecrackers on the last night of the year to keep Nian away. On the first day of the new year, the villagers celebrated, greeting each other with the words Guo Nian which mean “survive the Nian”, a tradition that has continued to this day to mean “celebrate the new year.”

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http://earthsky.org/human-world/chinese-new-year-2014-rings-in-year-of-the-horse

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horses Me and Wallaby WallabyThe spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people’s ethos [characteristic spirit] – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Ancient people liked to designate an able person as ‘Qianli Ma’, a horse that covers a thousand li a day (one li equals 500 meters).

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Persons born within these date ranges can be said to have been born in the “Year of the Horse,” while also bearing the following elemental sign:

Start Date End Date Heavenly Branch
25 January 1906 12 February 1907 Fire Horse
11 February 1918 31 January 1919 Earth Horse
30 January 1930 16 February 1931 Metal Horse
15 February 1942 4 February 1943 Water Horse
3 February 1954 23 February 1955 Wood Horse
21 January 1966 8 February 1967 Fire Horse
7 February 1978 27 January 1979 Earth Horse
27 January 1990 14 February 1991 Metal Horse
12 February 2002 31 January 2003 Water Horse
31 January 2014 18 February 2015 Wood Horse
17 February 2026 5 February 2027 Fire Horse
4 February 2038 23 January 2039 Earth Horse
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