Jan. 28 marks the official start to the Chinese New Year, ringing in 2017 as the Year of the Rooster. So what does this mean for you? Here's what you need to know about this auspicious year and what may be in store for you.
Chinese New Year
The most important holiday in the Chinese calendar is the Chinese New Year. This year, the Chinese New Year will be celebrated from Jan. 28 to Feb. 2. Why two weeks and why do the dates fluctuate? The Chinese calendar is based on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar, so the dates ebb and flow with the cycles of the moon. Technically, the new year falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice.
Each day of the two-week New Year celebration has its own traditions and celebrations. For instance, the second day of the holiday is the day when most observers visit family and friends to wish them a happy new year. And it is considered bad luck to clean your home or wash your hair within the first three days of the celebrations as this might wash away your newly acquired good luck.
The Chinese New Year is marked with fireworks, food, parades, celebrations and gifts — particularly the "lucky" red envelopes filled with money and given to children. In fact, the color red is considered so lucky that it's the primary color of clothing worn during celebration and also the color used to decorate.
Are you a rooster?
The rooster is one of 12 animals that mark the cycle of the Chinese zodiac. If you were born in the years 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 or 2017 then you are a rooster. According to the zodiac, the primary characteristics of the rooster are loyalty and punctuality. Like the animal itself, you probably don't need an alarm clock to wake up and you're more than likely the one telling others when to get up and go.
To get specific, this is the year of the fire rooster. Each zodiac sign is accompanied by a one of the five elements: earth, metal, water, fire and wood. Each element/zodiac pair only comes along every 60 years. If you were born in 1957 or 2017, then you're a fire rooster like Daniel Day-Lewis, Donny Osmond, Martin Luther King III, Matt Lauer and Hans Zimmer. According to the zodiac, you're likely trustworthy, responsible and good at time management.
Is this your year?
If you're a rooster, you may be thinking that 2017 is the year for you. But sadly, the year of the rooster will be an unlucky one for those who hold this zodiac sign. But don't feel too bad, according to Chinese astrology, the year of one's zodiac may be unlucky, but you'll have 11 more years after this one to rebound and recover from whatever 2017 throws at you. One thing that roosters can do to counteract any bad luck is to immerse themselves in the color red. (If you're a rooster, this might be a good year to stock up on red undies to help banish the bad luck!)
For everyone else (rats, ox, tigers, rabbits, dragons, snakes, horses, goats, monkeys, dogs and pigs,) 2017 may be filled with a wide array of ups and downs. If you believe in horoscopes, you can check out yours here.