What to expect from a Year of the Rabbit baby

Feb 3, 2011 at 3:00 a.m. ET

The first week of February this year ushers in the Chinese New Year, which is the Year of the Metal Rabbit. What does that mean for your baby-to-be?

chinese new year

It's almost the new year! Yes, again. Chinese New Year, that is, also known as Lunar New Year.

Are you into astrology? Just curious? Whatever the case, February 3 is Chinese New Year, which begins the year 4708. And in terms of the Chinese zodiac, that means it's the year of the Metal Rabbit.

The Chinese zodiac indicates that children born in certain years inherit certain characteristics that correspond with the zodiac. So, what does this mean for your unborn baby?

Rabbit characteristics

The Chinese zodiac is two-parted. The first part is the earth element -- metal, wood, water or fire. The metal aspect of the year 4708 means that those born this year will be stubborn, determined and rigid.

The second part of the zodiac is the heavenly symbol. There are 16 rotating heavenly symbols. According to the Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco, children born in the Year of the Rabbit are calm, kind, well-spoken and talented. They have ambitions that they pursue. "They are virtuous, reserved and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted and are often financially lucky," says the Chinese Cultural Center.

A Wall Street Journal article recently noted that children born in the Year of the Rabbit are also considered sensitive and family-oriented by Chinese culture. Furthermore, they are supposed to be the total package of beauty, brains and success.

Zodiac compatibility

In addition to indicating personality traits, the Chinese zodiac also notes with whom the years are most compatible. Those born in the Year of the Rabbit are "most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig and Dog," says the Chinese Cultural Center.

What about everyone else?

More good news. Even if you aren't having a baby this year, the Year of the Rabbit is thought to be filled with luck. So anyone can enjoy a little bit of the rabbit fortune.

Compared to this past year, the Year of the Tiger, 4708 stands to be a much milder, easier, better year...and couldn't we all use one of those these days?

Now, all that's left is to plan the Chinese New Year celebration.

Read more about Chinese new Year