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Year of the Rabbit

Introduction

The Spring Festival or Chinese New Year is on Feb. 16. Please read the article I wrote last year for more information about Chinese New Year.

As you know, this is the Year of the Rabbit or the 4697th Year based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Chinese name twelve animals representing 12 years in a cycle. It is noted that the twelve animals are closely associated with the Earthly Branches, Yin/Yang, and the Five Elements. This is summarized in the following table.

Animal
Branch
Yin/Yang
Hours
Element
Rat
1. Zi
Yin
11pm - 1am
Water
Ox
2. Chou
Yin
1am - 3am
Earth
Tiger
3. Yin
Yang
3am - 5am
Wood
Hare
4. Mao
Yin
5am - 7am
Wood
Dragon
5. Chen
Yang
7am - 9am
Metal
Snake
6. Si
Yang
9am - 11am
Fire
Horse
7. Wu
Yang
11am - 1pm
Fire
Sheep
8. Wei
Yang
1pm - 3pm
Earth
Monkey
9. Shen
Yin
3pm - 5pm
Metal
Cock
10. You
Yang
5pm - 7pm
Metal
Dog
11. Xu
Yin
7pm - 9pm
Earth
Boar
12. Hai
Yin
9pm - 11pm
Water

For an example, the Zi hour (11pm - 1am), is the Rat hour since the Rat is usually associated with the Yin element, such as darkness, stillness, and deceit. This is the opposite with the Wu hour (11am - 1pm) when the Yang reaches its highest point, so the horse is associated with the Wu as he is fast, robust, and swift.

The cycle of the twelve animals may be used to tell the personalities and fortunes of a person born in a particular year and hour based on the table above. This practice has a long history and there are still many Chinese using it. The characteristics of the animals are summarized in the table here.

For more information, check out the following links:

About Chinese New Year

New Year Greeting Cards

Chinese New Year Calendar

Chinese New Year Posts

Zodiac and Predictions

Chinese New Year Food and Recipes

Chinese New Year Stamps

Other Info about Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Index
To learn everything here about Chinese New Year.


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