Happy Lunar New Year! Today marks the start of the year of the monkey and millions of people around the world have kicked off celebrations in style. Festivals and parades welcomed the Spring Festival, which is based on the Lunisolar Chinese calendar. People in Hong Kong flocked to the Wong Tai Sin, one of the best known temples, for their new year prayers while the Yongchegong Lama Temple in Beijing, China was glowing with incense. The Sydney Opera House in Australia was bathed in red and the Empire State Building in New York City turned red and yellow to join in on the celebrations.
According to Wikipedia, Lunar New Year is “the first day of a secular, sacred, or other year whose months are coordinated by the cycles of the moon” and is traditionally celebrated by Asian cultures. People gather to burn incense and pray with hopes that the new year will bring them luck and good fortune.
Each Chinese New Year is characterized by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 blocks (or houses) just like its western counterpart, but with the major difference being that each house has a time-length of one year instead of one month. This year it’s the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the cycle.
For those of you born in 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, and 2016, this year is your year so make the best of it. Read more here!