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Upcoming Chinese New Year 2011 - Xin Mao
Posted on Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 8:19 am
by IDMA Editor

Chinese New Year according to the Chinese Calendar - 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, which is also known by its formal name of Xin Mao.

Animal years for actor-martial artists

Bruce Lee - Born November 27, 1940 - Year of the Dragon - Photo from

Jackie Chan - Born April 7, 1954 - Year of the Horse - Photo from

Jet Li - Born April 26, 1963 - Year of the Rabbit - Photo from

Jean-Claude Van Damme - Born October 18, 1960 - Year of the Rat- Photo from

Steven Seagal - Born April 10, 1951 - Year of the Rabbit - Photo from

Tony Jaa - Born February 5, 1976 - Year of the Dragon - Photo from

Donnie Yen - Born July 27, 1963 - Year of the Rabbit - Photo from

2011 is Year 4708 according to the Chinese Calendar.

The Chinese calendar has been in continuous use for centuries. It predates the International Calendar (based on the Gregorian Calendar) in use at the present, which goes back only some 430 years. Basically, a calendar is a system we use to measures the passage of time, from short durations of minutes and hours, to intervals of time measured in days, months, years and centuries. These are fundamentally based on the astronomical observations of the movement of the Sun, Moon and stars. Days are measured by the duration of time of one self rotation of the earth. Months are measured by the duration of time of rotation of the moon around the earth. Years are measured by the duration of time it takes for the earth to rotate around the Sun.

12 Animals

Each year is also designated by one of the 12 Animals. For instance, 2005 is Year of Rooster; 2006 is Year of Dog; and 2007 is the Year of Pig, and 2008 is the Year of the Rat. This system is extremely practical. A child does not have to learn a new answer to the question, "How old are you?" in each new year. Old people often lose track of their age, because they are rarely asked about their present age. Every one just has to remember that he or she was born in the "Year of the Dog" or whichever is applicable. Since 2008 is the Year of the Rat, any one who was born in the Year of the Rat is either 1 or 13, 25, 37, 49, 61, 73, 85 or 97 years old. When 2009 comes, the person is still born in the Year of the Rat. but he/she is 2,14, 26, 38, 50, 62, 74, 86 or 98 yeas old. Thus, instead of asking the question "How old are you?", ask the person "In which (animal) year were you born?"

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Zodiac - The 12 animals of the Chinese calendar are widely adopted and used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean Zodiacs.

Vietnamese Zodiac - The Vietnamese adopts the 12 animals of the Chinese calendar, with the exception of the 4-th animal. The rabbit is replaced by the cat.

New Year's decoration at the front of the house is a colorful calligraphy called 'chun lian' (Spring couplet). These are as popular as those for Halloween or Christmas. The Chinese calls the New Year's Celebration the "Spring Festival."

How is the Chinese New Year Day determined?

In one sentence, the Chinese New Year is the second New Moon after the winter solstice. It is based strictly on astronomical observations, and has nothing to do with the Pope, emperors, animals, or myths. Due to its scientific and mathematical nature, we can easily and precisely calculate backward or forward for thousands of years.

Fu is a lucky word.

Around the Chinese New Year, people often put up a poster with this word on it - upside down! It's the only time when a Chinese word is posted upside down intentionally.

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