Happy Lunar New Year!


The first of February 2022 is a new lunar year! Commonly although inaccurately known as Chinese new year, today marks the start of the festival of spring, and is celebrated in many east Asian countries. 

Each year, the festival of spring begins on the day of the first new moon in a new yearly lunar cycle. The festival usually lasts for around two weeks, and eases us closer to the spring equinox in march.

Photo by Vladyslav Dushenkovsky from Pexels

Although the season surrounding us still feels wintery, this celebration signifies the end of the coldest and darkest winter days. Now is when we begin to feel a subtle hint of spring in the air. The days are lengthening and the temperature is rising as we begin to gently transition into the more yang aspect of the year.

The shift towards spring energy tends to make a more conducive time to make plans, set goals and inspire creativity within. As the wood element begins to emerge, we are more equipped and supported to make changes in our lives. The increase in the yang energy starts to flourish and we see momentum within ourselves and nature, as the changes bring growth and expansion, much like a spring flower.

Photo by Biegun Wschodni on Unsplash

Chinese zodiac, or Sheng Xiao, which translates as ‘born resembling’, is represented by 12 animals:  Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each year is assigned an animal and an element.

The Five Elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood

Within Chinese culture, these assignments are also given to each person born in the year associated with the animal and element. This is known as Ben Ming Nian, and translates as ‘zodiac year of birth’.

Many people believe that a person’s strengths, weaknesses, and relationship compatibility are closely associated with their Chinese zodiac sign, determined by their zodiac birth year. The relationship between the animals is also important, meaning the predicted experience and luck of a year will be different depending on what year the animal is, and what animal the person is.

Did you know?

A common superstition includes the belief that people’s zodiac year of birth is an unlucky year. It is also known as the ‘threshold year’ meaning a year where one can expect many obstacles.

Intrigued to discover your which Chinese zodiac animal you are? Here’s a table to help you find out…

Rat…1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020…
Ox…1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021…
Tiger…1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022…
Rabbit… 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023 …
Dragon… 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024 …
Snake… 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025 …
Horse… 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026 …
Goat… 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027 …
Monkey… 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028 …
Rooster… 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029 …
Dog… 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030 …
Pig… 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031 …

According to Chinese zodiac philosophy, 2022 is the year of the tiger and the water element. The tiger represents courage and assertiveness as well as charm and ambition. The water element encompasses drive and determination along with wisdom and depth.

Photo by Frida Lanenrström on Unsplash

Whichever Chinese animal zodiac sign you are, we hope that this new lunar year brings you health and happiness.

The College of Integrated Chinese Medicine
The College of Integrated Chinese Medicine

Educating excellent acupuncturists.

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