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Chinese New Year Theme


Chinese New Year, also called the Lunar New Year, is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. The festival begins on the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar, and ends on the 15th.

RatFebruary 19, 1996February 7, 2008
OxFebruary 7, 1997January 26, 2009
TigerJanuary 28, 1998February 14, 2010
RabbitFebruary 16, 1999February 3, 2011
DragonFebruary 5, 2000January 23, 2012
SnakeJanuary 24, 2001February 10, 2013
HorseFebruary 12, 2002January 31, 2014
SheepFebruary 1, 2003February 19, 2015
MonkeyJanuary 22, 2004February 8, 2016
RoosterFebruary 9, 2005January 28, 2017
DogJanuary 29, 2006February 16, 2018
PigFebruary 18, 2007February 5, 2019

Alongside the 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac there is a 10-year cycle of heavenly stems. Each of the ten heavenly stems is associated with one of the five elements of Chinese astrology: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. The elements are rotated every two years while a yin and yang association alternates every year. The elements are thus distinguished: Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, etc. These produce a combined cycle that repeats every 60 years. For example, the year of the Yang Fire Rat occurred in 1936 and in 1996, 60 years apart.

Many confuse their Chinese birth-year with their Gregorian birth-year. As the Chinese New Year starts in late January to mid-February, the Chinese year dates from January 1 until that day in the new Gregorian year remain unchanged from the previous Gregorian year. For example, the 1989 year of the snake began on February 6, 1989. The year 1990 is considered by some people to be the year of the horse. However, the 1989 year of the snake officially ended on January 26, 1990. This means that anyone born from January 1 to January 25, 1990 was actually born in the year of the snake rather than the year of the horse.

The character in the title bar means 'Good Luck' or 'Good Fortune' and is one of the most popular Chinese characters used in Chinese New Year. It is often posted upside down (as done in this theme) on the front door of one's house or apartment. The upside down character means good luck came since the character for 'upside down' in Chinese sounds the same as the character for 'came.' So, yes, the character was deliberately shown upside down in this theme, and it's apparently a Chinese pun! (I have to take other people's word for it, however, since I don't know Chinese.)

The following is a list of beliefs that vary according to dialect groups or individuals.

Good luck

Bad luck

Letterboxing Cities

Here are all of the cities in China we've hit with letterboxes!

Mystery Boxes Beijing (9) Chengguan (2) Guangzhou (2) Haining Road Hangzhou Hong Kong (8) Sartu Shanghai Shenzhen Stanley Suzhou Xi'an (2)
Total Letterboxes: 31
Set Chinese New Year Theme