Chinese New Year: The year of the snake

Feb 9, 2013 at 8:04 p.m. ET

A new wave of luck and good fortune is about to sweep through for those who follow the Eastern calendar.

The biggest celebration for most Asian cultures is about to occur from Feb. 10. Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is set to bring lively and colourful events all across Australia.

What Chinese New Year means

Chinese New Year is a massive celebration — the equivalent of combining the Western celebrations of Christmas and New Year's Eve into one event! Families and friends get together and mark the event from sunrise to well into the night.

It's also a moment filled with great superstition and rituals, all designed to bring individuals and homes good fortune for the following year.

Read about other great gems to be experienced in China >>

The team at China Holidays says, "Legend has it that once upon a time, there was a monster called Nian that attacked Chinese villages every spring, eating anything that came its way — people, animals, plants and the odd building. One spring, villagers hung red paper on their doors and threw bamboo on a fire when arrived. The monster was so startled by the bright colors and loud crackling noise of the burning bamboo that it turned and fled. Today the word“ nian” is the Chinese word for year."

Now you will see homes and businesses draping their entrances with red paper signs and laterns, and celebrating the turn of the year with loud events (think cymbals and firecrackers).

Year of the snake

Every year is dedicated to one of 12 animals, known for particuar traits and behaviours. This time it is the year of the snake.

Some well-known traits for people born in the year of the snake include:

  • Sharp intuition
  • Loyal to their friends with a close network
  • Deep thinkers
  • Devoted lovers who enjoy long-term relationships
  • A jealous streak

Recent birth years for the snake include 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001 and 2013.

The expert Chinese New Year 2013 blog tells us that as we move into the next phase "...times will be steady, well thought out and extremely stable. Like the Snake itself, we can expect times to move along at a predictable pace most of the time, with some interesting twists and turns along the way. Just as traditional Chinese wisdom tells us that having a snake in the house is good luck, the Year of the Snake is sure to usher in good fortune for many people."

They also warn "snakes" that, "This is not a year to gamble, but one to invest wisely. Doing so will result in more wealth down the road, as the Snake’s attributes clearly bless those who invest wisely and who exercise patience during all of their investing."

More new year, new you reads

Goal setting, should we do it?
2013: The year to get organised
Hobbies to take up in 2013 that'll make you a better person