With a hail of fireworks, the world is set to welcome in a new lunar year.
Chinese New Year celebrations were going off all around the world last night – and will continue today and tonight - as we said farewell to the tiger and welcomed in the rabbit.
As the Year of the Tiger comes to a close and the Year of the Rabbit begins, people have their eyes down to see if there’s any significant events in store for them.
After all, the Lunar New Year on January 22 is a time for those who believe in them to consult their horoscopes and make a selection of wild guesses at what the next bit of time has waiting for them.
Now, obviously there are people out there who think it’s absolute nonsense – horoscopes, that is – but a lot of people definitely do put some stock in them.Chinese New Year is celebrated around the world. Credit: tonysworldtravels/Alamy Stock Photo
So, we’ll humour them for at least one day of this year, and take a closer look at what it all means.
As you’ll probably already know, there are 12 signs of the zodiac represented by 12 different animals, you are assigned a zodiac animal on the day of your birth dependent on what the year is.
That’s as far as most of us get, but there is more to it than that.
In fact, there’s a ‘sexagenary cycle’ – which consists of 60 years in total – that contains 10 ‘heavenly stems’ and 12 ‘earthly branches’, which are your zodiac animals.
This means each year one of those stems becomes paired with one of those branches, giving us the full meaning of the year on the calendar.
The 10 stems are made up of five elements, with either a yin or yang category, for example ‘gui’ which means water and ‘mao’ meaning rabbit.
Ergo, 2023 is the Year of the Water Rabbit.
An expert called Thierry Chow told CNN: “Gui Mao Rabbit Year is quite a special year – when all the elements in a year are yin.
“It’s also uncommon to have the combination of water and rabbit.
“The rabbit represents wood. Water nurtures wood (according to Chinese geomancy).”It's the Year of the Water Rabbit this year. Credit: Chris Bull/Alamy Stock Photo
Industries that have wood as a key element – culture, furniture and publishing, for instance – are set for a big year this year.
However, those with fire as their dominant element such as digital business and technology-based work are set for a slow one.
As a digital publishing business, we’re not quite sure where that leaves us then.
Chow added: “The Year of Water Rabbit is going to be a gentler year. We’ll have time to take a breather.
“We’ve been in the tunnel for the last few years, and the light is getting bigger now.”
That would be nice – a bit of a normal one would be very welcome.
As for those born in rabbit years, it’s particularly special this year, apparently.
Chow explained: “People born in the Rabbit year have to expect big changes health-wise, career-wise and relationship-wise.
“It could be a bit nerve-wracking, especially for those whose birth charts don’t favour Water,
“But do remember it never is all bad.
“It may mean an opportunity to grow.”