Team Glossika would like to wish you happy holidays!
This year, we've prepared 3 surprises for you!

In this Article:

  • When Does Chinese New Year Occur?
  • The Animals of the Zodiac: learn how it affects your personality
  • Important Dates for 2017
  • Chinese Spring Couplets


When Does Chinese New Year Occur?

Every year, we get a week of holidays here at Glossika for Chinese New Year, but the actual date of the holiday week can be a little hard to predict.

Our daily lives run according to the western calendar, but many countries still use traditional calendars to commemorate holidays. This calendar is typically called a "lunar calendar." In Chinese, it is referred to as the farmer's calendar: 農曆 (nónglì). Each month in this calendar is about 29-30 days in length. This comes to 354-355 days a year, causing the Chinese New Year to occur 11 days earlier every year. A "leap month" is added some years moving New Year's 19 days forward.

This year New Year's Eve falls on Friday, January 27, and New Year's Day is on Saturday, January 28. This is a time when all families reunite and eat meals together. If you're traveling in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan and would like to see some sights, do expect everything to be closed.

There will be an extra month this year pushing next year's New Year's Day to February 16, 2018.

The Chinese Zodiac

According to the Chinese, the Chinese Zodiac and your birth year share a close connection to your personality.

Below is a list of the characteristics of each Zodiac animal.

雞 jī 2017

雞 jī (2017)


If you were born in the year of the rooster, you are efficient (講究效率), decisive (果斷), and bold (勇往直前). You're also known to be eccentric (脾氣古怪), argumentative (愛爭善辯), and selfish (自私).

狗 gǒu 2018

狗 gǒu (next occurs in 2018)


If you were born in the year of the dog, you are loyal (忠實) , reliable (可靠) and realistic (注重現實). You're also known to be ignorant (盲目), hasty (急躁), and reckless (不計後果).

豬 zhū 2019

豬 zhū (next occurring in 2019)


If you were born in the year of the pig, you are sincere (真摯), optimistic (開朗樂觀), and enthusiastic (精力旺盛). You're also known to be sentimental (易動感情), cranky (脾氣不穩), and short-sighted (目光短淺).

鼠 shǔ 2020

鼠 shǔ (next occurring in 2020)


If you were born in the year of the rat, you are a quick-thinker (頭腦機智), self-disciplined (有自我約束力), and observant (觀察細緻). You're also known to be conservative (保守), timid (膽小怕事), and shallow (深度不夠).

牛 niú 2021

牛 niú (next occurring in 2021)


If you were born in the year of the ox, you are hard-working (勤奮努力), honest (忠厚老實), and pragmatic (有正義感). You're also known to be stubborn (固執), subjective (主觀獨斷), and rigid (缺乏通融).

虎 hǔ 2022

虎 hǔ (next occurring in 2022)


If you were born in the year of the tiger, you are confident (自信), passionate (熱情大方), and righteous (有正義感). You're also known to be arrogant (自以為是) and proud & aloof (孤傲).

兔 tù 2023

兔 tù (next occurring in 2023)


If you were born in the year of the rabbit, you are gentle (溫柔), compassionate (體諒他人), and elegant (氣質高雅). You're also known to be materialistic (虛榮), impatient (急躁), and fickle (性情不穩).

龍 lóng 2024

龍 lóng (next occurring in 2024)


If you were born in the year of the dragon, you are ambitious (有進取心), generous (慷慨), and capable (有才能). You're also known to be hot-tempered (盛氣凌人), aggressive (爭強好勝), and hard to admit defeat (不服輸).

蛇 shé 2025

蛇 shé (next occurring in 2025)


If you were born in the year of the snake, you are focused (專心致志), smart (思路敏捷) and energetic (精力充沛). You're also known to be ambiguous (動搖不定), narrow-minded (心胸狹窄), and suspicious of others (不信任他人).

馬 mǎ 2026

馬 mǎ (next occurring in 2026)


If you were born in the year of the horse, you are frank (耿直熱情), eloquent (善惡分明), and courageous (勇往直前). You're also known to be unbending (倔強) and agitated (急躁).

羊 yáng 2027

羊 yáng (next occurring in 2027)


If you were born in the year of the goat, you are inquisitive (研究欲強), sympathetic (寬容), and kind (善良). You're also known to be emotional (易動感情) and indecisive (優柔寡斷).

猴 hóu 2028

猴 hóu (next occurring in 2028)


If you were born in the year of the monkey, you are multi-talented (多才多藝), romantic (生活浪漫), and easy-going (隨和). You're also known to be jealous (嫉妒), frivolous (輕浮) and insincere (缺乏誠信).

This Year (2017)

The Chinese calendar cycles through 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches, which takes 60 years to complete. Each earthly branch has an associated animal figure. For 2017, the heavenly stem is 丁 (dīng) and the earthly branch is 酉 (yǒu) and the animal is the rooster (雞 jī).

In that case, year 2017 can also be referred to as 丁酉.

Important Dates for 2017

  • 除夕 (chúxì) New Year's Eve: January 27
  • 春節 (chūnjié) New Year's: January 28
  • 元宵節 (yuánxiāojié) Lantern Festival: February 11
  • 清明節 (qīngmíngjié) Tomb Sweeping Festival: April 4
  • 端午節 (duānwǔjié) Dragon Boat Festival: May 30
  • 七夕 (qīxì) Chinese Valentine's Day: August 28
  • 中元節 (zhōngyuánjié) Ghost Festival: September 5
  • 中秋節 (zhōngqiūjié) Mid-Autumn Festival: October 4

Chinese Spring Couplets

The Chinese language has a wealth of characters, phrases, idioms and proverbs. Chinese idiom are called 成語 chéngyǔ and are usually four characters in length. During Chinese New Year, auspicious 成語 are hung up at doorways to bring good luck -- these are specifically called 春聯 chūnlián (Spring Couplets). Chinese expect you to recite at least a few 成語 during the festivities, so here are a few to get you started and help you fit in:

新年快樂 (xīn nián kuài lè)
Happy New Year!

心想事成 (xīn xiǎng shì chéng)
Wishes Come True

吉祥如意 (jí xiáng rú yì)
Good Fortune as one Wishes

四季平安 (sì jì píng ān)
Peace & Safety in all Seasons

年年有餘 (nián nián yǒu yú)
Bountiful all Year Round

財源廣進 (cái yuán guǎng jìn)
May Wealth Come Generously to you

國泰民安 (guó tài mín ān)
The Country Flourishes & People live in Peace

恭喜發財 (gōng xǐ fā cái)
May you be Prosperous & Rich

大吉大利 (dà jí dà lì)
Great Fortune & Great Gain

萬象更新 (wàn xiàng gēng xīn)
All Things Start Anew