Happy 2013 — The Year of the Snake
How the Chinese celebrate the new year, and what Chinese zodiac year you are born under.
A lot of people cringe at the thought of snakes, but if you're a Hartland resident born in the Year of the Snake, as described by the Chinese New Year calendar, you are a quick learner, lead by wisdom and intuition.
As Americans celebrate 2013, it can be interesting to take a look at what it means on the Chinese calendar. And you might want to plan a trip to a local Chinese restaurant, such as Moy Kong Express, China King, or New Century Buffet in Fenton or China Garden in Linden to have a hot meal and celebrate.
Followers of the Chinese zodiac believe each person has personality traits similar to the animal character for the year he or she was born. For 2013, the year of the snake, snakes are said to like the best things in life and are mysterious, quiet and deep thinkers.
Famous people born in the year of the snake include Oprah Winfrey, Sara Jessica Parker, Abraham Lincoln, Picasso, Martha Stewart and Jackie Kennedy Onassis.
What is your birth year?
Horse — Energetic, independent, impatient, enjoys travel
- 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906
Ram — Mild-mannered, shy, kind, peace-loving
- 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919, 1907
Monkey — Fun, energetic, active
- 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932, 1920, 1908
Rooster — Independent, practical, hard-working, observant
- 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921, 1909
Dog — Patient, diligent, generous, faithful, kind
- 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922, 1910
Pig — Loving, tolerant, honest, appreciates luxury
- 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923, 1911
Rat — Quick-witted, smart, charming, persuasive
- 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912, 1900
Ox — Patient, kind, stubborn, conservative
- 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913, 1901
Tiger — Authoritative, emotional, courageous, intense
- 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914, 1902
Rabbit — Popular, compassionate, sincere
- 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915, 1903
Dragon — Energetic, fearless, warm-hearted, charismatic
- 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916, 1904
Snake — Charming, gregarious, introverted, generous, smart
- 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917, 1905
More on the Chinese New Year
Since the Chinese New Year begins according to the Chinese calendar, which also uses lunar and solar calendar systems, the new year can begin anytime between late January and mid-February, explains Apples for the Teacher, an educational website. Due to the track of the new moon, the 2013 Chinese New Year begins on Feb. 10.
The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most important social and economic holiday in China, history.com says. It was a time to honor household and heavenly deities and ancestors, and to bring family together for feasting.
Chinese have joined the Western world in celebrating Jan. 1 as New Year’s Day, but China continues to celebrate Chinese New Year, as the Spring Festival. On the fifth day of the New Year, businesses often light firecrackers in the belief it will bring prosperity and good fortune. The 15th day of the 15-day holiday includes The Festival of Lanterns and marks the end of the celebrations.
Symbols for Chinese New Year include red envelopes filled with money, given to children and unmarried adults with no job. The red color is for good luck and abundance. And the dragon, which is present in many Chinese celebrations, often is present in dancing performances on the 15 day of the new year. The dragon represents prosperity and good luck and good fortune, with many traditional Chinese thinking of themselves as descendants of the mythical creature.
The Chinese New Year’s Eve meal is the most important dinner of the year, history.com adds. Families gather at a relative’s house or a restaurant, with many restaurants requiring reservations months ahead of time. Or, a professional chef might be hired to cook at someone’s house. Traditional foods include Eight Treasures Rice with rice, walnuts, dried fruit, raisins, sweet red bean paste, dates and almonds. Also, there are chicken, duck, fish and pork dishes, and Tang Yuan, a black sesame rice ball soup, or Won Ton soup. For sweets, there is Song Gao, or loose cake, made of coarsely ground rice made into a small, round cake.