Lunar New Year

You might be wondering, “What’s the big deal about the lunar new year, anyway?”

Some cultures in the world base the calendar year off of the phases and cycles of the moon. Months in a lunar calendar are still twelve in number, though they tend to be shorter than months in other calendars. A lunar cycle is 27 days, so a lunar month is about 27 days, depending on the culture. This shortness of months tends to drift the year. After using a calendar with lunar months, an adjustment has to be made so the calendar doesn’t slip from one end of the seasonal year to the other. In other words, lunar calendars sometimes have 13 months.

You may have heard of the ox as well. “Why is this the year of the ox?”

For some cultures the year isn’t only based on the phases of the moon, the astrology is also. China and its people, for example, use a zodiac with the following symbolic characters.

  1. Rat
  2. Ox
  3. Tiger
  4. Rabbit
  5. Dragon
  6. Snake
  7. Horse
  8. Sheep
  9. Monkey
  10. Rooster
  11. Dog
  12. Pig

Their zodiac uses these symbols on a yearly basis. More specifically, an entire year will be assigned one of the animals in the zodiac. The year 2021 (on the Julian calendar) is a year of the ox. The previous year was the year of the rat. For those interested in the entertainment of astrological predictions, remember your astrological sign is for the entire lunar year you were born. If a baby is born before 12 February 2021, then that baby is assigned the symbolic character of the rat. After 12 February 2021 (and before 1 February 2022), the baby would be given the sign of the ox.

Aside from the astrology of another calendar, the big deal about a lunar new year is the celebration of differing cultures. You can look at the way other people divide the days, the way they celebrate life, and how they generate their own ideas.

Plus, who among us would turn down a reason to celebrate the new year twice?

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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