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Chinese New Year is celebrated all across the world, with people coming together to wish each other good luck and a prosperous year ahead. This New Year marks the start of the year of the dog, which is regarded in Chinese culture as an auspicious animal. While in our Gregorian calendar we celebrate New Year on January 1st, the Chinese New Year celebrations begin at a different time each year. This year festivities will get underway on February 16th. A dog lantern is illuminated at Xinghai Square on December 29, 2017 in Dalian, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images) The reason it’s held at a different time each year is because, while our years correspond to the earth’s cycle around the sun, the Chinese year is based around the moon. Also known as a Lunar New Year, it differs annually because a lunar month is around two days shorter than a Western month. Chinese New Year always falls on the second day of the new moon after the winter solstice. (Picture: Dinendra Haria/WENN.com/Rex) Every so often, a thirteenth month is added to the year, to help catch it up with the seasons. That means, Chinese New Year is always between January 21st and February 21st. Celebrations typically last up to two weeks, with street parties and ceremonies worldwide. (Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire) Businesses also shut down for a period of time, and people wear symbolic red to promote good fortune for the coming months. There’s a longstanding tradition whereby people give gifts of money in small red envelopes. Much like our Western observances, there will be fireworks, music, and parades. MORE: WORLD Tourist boat explodes in Thailand leaving 16 injured Qatari royal releases video saying he’s being ‘held against his will’ Hawaii told to fix alert system after telling everyone they were under nuclear attack 2018 will be the year of the earth dog, while 2017 was the year of the fire rooster. Chinese astrologers foretell that it will be an unlucky year for anyone who was also born in a year of the dog. That means if you were born in 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, or 1970, you should maybe just stay at home until the year of the pig comes around. What your Chinese zodiac symbol is Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960 Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961 Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962 Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963 Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964 Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965 Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966 Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967 Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968 Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969 Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970 Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

 

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