According to Wikipedia Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year“. The Chinese year 4712 begins on Jan. 31, 2014
Unlike the Western linear calendar used in the United States, the Chinese calendar features a cyclical dating method that repeats every 60 years. The calendar is based on two cycles that interact with each other—the Chinese zodiac, which is divided into 12 parts, and the five elements. The five elements are metal, water, wood, fire, and earth.
Each year of the Chinese Zodiac is represented by a different animal: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. The five elements are assigned to the 12 animals (years), giving different characteristics to each animal (year). Assigning each of the five elements to the 12 years creates 60 different combinations that results in a 60-year cycle.
Well, what does it have to do with Russians you would ask. I don’t really know, but even if Russians don’t celebrate it (though many do), but always know which year is coming according to Chinese Zodiac. Probably it is due to Russian’s special location. Russia is partly Western and partly Eastern, but in reality is neither Western, no Eastern, but unique mixture of both. When you live in Russia, you can’t miss the info of upcoming year Zodiac. You see the souvenirs and post cards of one of twelve animals(depends on year) everywhere. You profoundly getting the info how to meet a new year, how to dress, what to buy as a gift, what each year brings to other signs, whom to date, etc. The most importantly, people still believe in it…at least a little bit.
So, this year is a Blue Wood Horse. I tried to find a good info in English about it, but I didn’t find much. As soon as I switch to Russian search web and typed a word “Horse”, the info about Blue Wood Horse showed up. Horse is a sign for people born in 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026. People born during the year of the horse have a pleasant, amiable, easy going disposition. With good humor and geniality, they are extremely comfortable to get along with, for they have the ability of instantly putting people at their ease. They are very quick-witted and are right in there with you before you have had the chance to finish what you were saying; they are on to the thought in your mind even before you’ve expressed it. All these guarantee their popularity and a large following of friends. Horse is characterized by an enthusiastic, independent and impulsive approach to life. At times, the Horse can be truly untamed, looking to explore new interests at a whim. It is this adventurous personality that makes those born under the Horse sign so prone to boredom in the face of routine. Although impulsive, the Horse is not without a quick, clever mind, which can be witnessed in their innate whit and charm. The Horse always has their own success in mind and can be very stubborn in the pursuit of their goals.
So, year of Horse is here. There are still Christmas trees on the Moscow’s streets – probably somehow Moscow celebrates it in her own way. In the United States, The San Francisco Chinese New Year is now the largest Asian event in North America as well as the largest general market event in Northern California. (the first celebration was originated in the 1860’s during the Gold Rush day)
Anyway, it doesn’t matter where do you live, the year is here. Happy Chinese New Year!