The Lunar New Year, called The Chinese New Year in China, begins on January 22, 2023 and marks the beginning of a fifteen-day celebration.
Interestingly, the date of the Chinese New Year changes every year. In 2024, it will begin on February 10. The following year, 2025, it is scheduled to begin January 29.
This change is explained by the method of calculation, a combination of the Chinese agricultural and civil calendar. The Chinese use the cycle of the phases of the moon and not the cycle of the sun, like the Gregorian calendar does.
In Chinese astrology, each year corresponds to a sign. The year 2022 was the Year of the Tiger, while 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit.
According to Chinese beliefs, the Rabbit is the fourth of the Chinese zodiac and is closely associated with the moon. It symbolizes happiness and good fortune.
Why Is It the Year of the Rabbit?
The energies that will guide the coming months of the Chinese New Year are determined by the sign of the Chinese Horoscope that will rule the year.
The Chinese Horoscope is composed of twelve signs represented by animals: Mouse, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Rooster, Monkey, Dog, and Pig. These are the animals that appear in the celebration of the New Year of Buddha.
In this celebration, the Chinese signs are pledged to protect the years with which they are associated. The signs are not distributed among the months of the year, but rather, the distribution is annual. In other words, each year is ruled by an animal until the cycle begins again with a new animal.
According to Chinese beliefs, the Year of the Rabbit will be very peaceful and much needed after the fierce Year of the Tiger.
The Rabbit’s efficiency and sense of duty compel those born under this sign to obey the rules. Rabbit sign people are benevolent, calm, and responsible. They avoid confrontation whenever possible, but show courage when necessary.
A person born in the year of the Rabbit is one of the twelve luckiest signs. The rabbit, or hare, as it is called in Chinese mythology, is a symbol of longevity, so a person born under this sign will seek a quiet life, enjoying peace, quiet, and harmonious surroundings.
Rabbits are reserved and artistic and possess good judgment. They can, however, seem a bit strange and sometimes seem distant and out of place in their environment.
Mythology of Animals in the Chinese New Year
The Jade Emperor, known in mythology as the first emperor of China and ruler of heaven, organized a race on the occasion of his birthday and invited twelve different animals to participate, naming each year of the zodiac after them, in order of finish.
The Mouse came first in the Chinese horoscope by convincing the Ox to let him stay on his head so they could cross the river together, the last obstacle of the race. Upon reaching the bank, the rodent jumped ahead and left the bovine in second place.
Tiger was slowed by the river, but caught up with the next two animals and secured third place. In fourth place, the Rabbit clung to a log and the Dragon’s breath dragged him to the end of the road.
Dragon needed to put out a fire before the race and, added to the help offered to Rabbit, his good deed was rewarded by the Emperor with fifth place.
Next, the Horse was about to receive sixth place, when the Snake slipped between his legs and beat him to the position, leaving the Horse in seventh place.
The Goat, the Monkey, and the Rooster gathered on a raft to cross the river, taking eighth, ninth, and tenth place, respectively.
Another participant, the Dog, was distracted by the water and preferred to cool off, placing eleventh.
The Pig, busy with a banquet, only appeared when the race was already closed by the Jade Emperor and so was awarded twelfth place.
By Andreina Ibarra.