Chinese New Year（Spring Festival）2013 is coming up on February 10th, 2013. According to the Lunar Year Calendar, 2013 is the Year of Snake.
Is Snake (蛇 shé) Your Animal?
Happy New Year of the Snake. 蛇年快乐！(Shé nián kuàile!)
In China, we call 蛇 (shé, Snake) as little Dragon. As Dragon is the imperial symbol, the sign of the power and wealth, many Chinese people who were born in the Snake year often say that they were born in Little Dragon Year.
The Snake year falls on the following years: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, and 2013.
It is said that people who were born in the year of the Snake are mysterious, calm, smart and knowledgeable. They are usually lucky in terms of wealth building throughout their lives. Some famous people born in the year of the Snake are John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917), Mao Zedong (1893), Martin Luther King, Jr.(1929), Abraham Lincoln (1809), and so on.
Why Is the Snake the Sixth Animal in the Chinese Zodiac?
Once upon a time, the Jade Emperor prepared to select twelve animals to be recognized as the zodiac
(生肖shēngxiāo) signs. In accordance with the decree, the first twelve animals to arrive on the
appointed day would be selected as the animals of the zodiac. The cat asked the mouse to help it
sign up, but the mouse forgot and the cat wasn’t chosen. Ever since, the cat and mouse have been
enemies. Other animals wanted to choose the ox for the first place. When the ox walked into the
hall, the mouse rode upon his back and was seen first. So then, the mouse took the first place in
the zodiac. The tiger and dragon didn’t accept the decision, but were granted as kings of the
mountain and sea in retribution. Next, the rabbit didn’t accept the other positions and ran a
race with the dragon to take the fourth spot. That’s how the dragon became the Fifth Animal in
the Chinese Zodiac.The Snake hid itself on the Horse’s hoof, his sudden appearance frightened
the Horse and made it fall back, thus, the Snake got the 6th spot, while the Horse placed 7th.
At Chinese New Year, just saying Happy New Year to your Chinese friends is not enough, you should share the following good wishes:
新年快乐！(Xīnnián kuàilè!) Happy New Year!
过年好！(Guò nián hǎo!) Happy New Year!
恭喜发财！(Gōngxǐ fācái!) I wish You Great Prosperity!
蛇年吉祥！(Shé nián jí xiáng!) Good Luck in the Year of the Snake!
Greetings of Chinese New Year 2013
年 (nián) monster and 守岁 (shǒusuì) stay up late or all night on New Year's Eve
It is said that there was a monster called "年 (nián)" in ancient time of China. The "年 (nián)" monster was huge-sized and with antenna coming out of his head. Usually, it lived at the deep bottom of ocean, but in the New Year's Eve, it comes out to devour the livestock and people living in the villages. However, after many years and many losses people discovered that the "年 (nián)" monster was afraid of the color red, bright lights and slam-bang noises. So on the New Year's Eve (called "除夕 (chúxī)" in China), Chinese people put couplets written on red paper up on their gate, hung red lanterns across gate beams, set off fireworks and stayed up all night, which was called "守岁 (shǒusuì)" in China and people still follow this tradition today. The "守岁 (shǒusuì)" tradition shares the deep lingering feelings from the passing year and a nice longing for the coming new year.
If you are living in China or going to spend the New Year 2013 with your Chinese friends, here are things you might want to know:
"本命年 (běnmìngnián)" refers to the year you were born. It matches with one of 12 animals of Chinese Zodiac called "生肖 (shēngxiāo)." In the coming of one's "本命年 (běnmìngnián)," according to Chinese tradition, one should wear a red belt and red socks and stitch a red cloth stripe on one's coat. Because "本命年 (běnmìngnián)" is also called a threshold year which it is believed is hard to get through. Chinese people believe that red is a lucky color, which can help people rid themselves of any misfortunes coming from their "本命年 (běnmìngnián)." Chinese New Year 2013 is the Year of the Snake!
If you were born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, and 2013, you belong to the Snake, so New Year's 2013 is your "本命年 (běnmìngnián)."
Blessings for the Chinese New Year
What is your wish in New Year ? Some wishes that Chinese people might have in the New Year:
College students who sit the graduate entrance exam hope they can be enrolled in their ideal universities in the New Year and any that did not sit the graduate entrance exam hope they will find a good-paying job in the New Year;
Doctors hope they will have fewer patients to treat in the New Year;
Chefs hopes they will cook more delicious food in the New Year;
Cleaners hope the streets will be tidier and cleaner in the New Year;
Taxi drivers hope they will encounter fewer traffic jams in the New Year;
Parents hope their children will be healthier, more beautiful and earn more money in the New Year;
Sons and daughters hope their parents and grand-parents will live longer in the New Year;
Girls hope they will become better in the New Year; Boys who are still single hope they will find a virtuous and beautiful girlfriend in the New Year;
Xiao Lin, working as a online service, hopes that her face will be more smooth and fair in the New Year;
Sun Jing, working as a volunteer in the Xin Jiang Autonomous Region of China, hopes that she will have more time to spend with her parents and stay with her husband in the New Year.
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