The next Chinese New Year will begin on Wednesday, January 29th, 2025 and last until Sunday, February 16th, 2026. This festive period will culminate with the Lantern Festival, a dazzling display of lights and lanterns.
The year 2025 will mark the transition from the Year of the Dragon, a very lucky and powerful sign, to the Year of the Green Wood Snake. The snake is the sixth animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle, and it represents wisdom, charm, and elegance.
Those who are born in the Year of the Snake are intelligent, intuitive, and graceful. They can observe their surroundings well and adapt to different circumstances. The snake also corresponds to the wood element, which signifies growth, creativity, and harmony. Wood snakes are generous, compassionate, and loyal. They have a strong sense of duty and a high ethical code.
Babies born in the Year of the Snake 2025 will have traits such as intelligence, charm, and intuition. They will also have a knack for divination and a mysterious allure. However, they should be careful not to be cunning, secretive, or jealous.
The year of the snake is also associated with the element of wood, which represents growth, vitality, and stability. Wood snakes are especially good at achieving their goals and making their dreams come true. They are also very generous and loyal, and can inspire others with their vision.
The Chinese New Year of the Snake is a time to celebrate these qualities and to welcome the opportunities that come with them. It is a time to seek knowledge, to pursue your passions, and to express your individuality. It is also a time to cultivate relationships, to show kindness, and to appreciate the beauty of life.
The Chinese New Year of the Snake is a special occasion that invites us to reflect on our past, to enjoy our present, and to look forward to our future. It is a time to honor the snake’s spirit and to learn from its wisdom.
How are Chinese New Year Dates Determined?
The Chinese New Year follows the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, which is based on the phases of the moon and the solar terms. The date of the Chinese New Year varies from year to year, but it usually falls between January 21st and February 20th in the Gregorian calendar. The Chinese New Year marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring, and it is celebrated with various customs and traditions, such as lion dances, dragon dances, fireworks, family reunions, red envelopes, and lanterns.
The Chinese New Year celebration lasts for 15 days, from the New Year’s Eve to the Lantern Festival. However, some people start to prepare for the festival earlier, from the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month. Each year is associated with one of the 12 animal signs in the Chinese zodiac, which cycle every 12 years. For example, 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, and 2025 is the Year of the Snake. The animal sign is believed to influence one’s personality, fortune, and compatibility.
To determine the date of the Chinese New Year, one can use a simple formula: it is the first new moon that appears between January 21st and February 20th.
History and Origins of Chinese New Year
According to some sources, the CNY originated in the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC), when people held sacrificial ceremonies to honor the gods of heaven and earth and their ancestors at the start or the end of each year. The term Nian, meaning “year” in Chinese, first appeared in the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC), and was used to refer to the annual cycle of agricultural activities. The date for the festival was not fixed until the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), when Emperor Wudi commanded to use the lunar calendar, which is based on the phases of the moon and the solar year.
One legend says that a monster named Nian would attack villagers at the start of every year, and was afraid of loud noises, bright lights and the color red. Therefore, people would light firecrackers, hang red lanterns and wear red clothes to scare away the beast. Another legend says that an old man named Yanhuang taught people how to make firecrackers and lanterns, and gave them a peach wood sword to ward off evil spirits. These traditions have been passed down for generations and are still practiced today.
Celebration of Chinese New Year 2025
Did You Know? Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year are related but not the same. Lunar New Year is a more general term that refers to the start of a new year on the lunar calendar, which is based on the cycles of the moon. Many Asian countries celebrate Lunar New Year, but each one has its own traditions, beliefs and name for the festival. Chinese New Year is a specific term that refers to the new year event when Chinese culture and traditions are celebrated. It is also called Spring Festival or Chūnjié in China.
- Vietnam: Lunar New Year is called Tết in Vietnam. Adults give small red envelopes filled with cash, called lì xì, to children. Certain special foods such as banh chung (savory rice cakes) are prepared and eaten. People also decorate their homes with peach blossoms, kumquat trees, and colorful lanterns.
- Korea: Lunar New Year is called Seollal in Korea. People wear traditional clothes called hanbok and perform ancestral rites called charye. They also eat a special soup called tteokguk, made with sliced rice cakes and beef broth. Eating this soup is believed to add one year to your age.
- Singapore: Lunar New Year is a major celebration in Singapore, where many people are of Chinese descent. People clean their houses, exchange gifts, and visit relatives and friends. They also enjoy a special dish called yusheng, which is a raw fish salad tossed with various ingredients. The higher you toss the salad, the more luck you will have.
- Thailand: Lunar New Year is not an official holiday in Thailand, but it is widely celebrated by the Chinese community there. People wear red clothes, light firecrackers, and give oranges and ang pao (red envelopes) to their elders. They also visit temples and make offerings to Buddha and their ancestors.
- Philippines: Lunar New Year is also not an official holiday in the Philippines, but it is recognized as a special non-working day. People celebrate by wearing red clothes, eating noodles and tikoy (sticky rice cake), and joining dragon and lion dances. They also believe that certain activities on this day will affect their luck for the rest of the year.
Here are some examples of how people celebrate this amazing festival around the world:
- In London, UK, you can join the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia, with parades, shows, dances, and fireworks in Chinatown and the city center.
- In Suriname, South America, Chinese New Year is a public holiday for everyone, not just the Chinese community. People exchange red envelopes, light firecrackers, and visit temples.
- In Sydney, Australia, you can admire the spectacular lanterns that light up the city’s landmarks, such as the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. You can also watch dragon boat races, cultural performances, and art exhibitions.
Interesting Events That Happened in Past Snake Years
Taking a look back at past Snake years may give insight into the potential energy and happenings that could occur in the coming year. Below are some intriguing events which have occurred in past Snake Years:
1965 – Year of the Wood Snake
The United States sent troops to Vietnam, beginning a long and controversial war. In between, the Beatles released their album “Rubber Soul,” and Martin Luther King Jr. led the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
1977 – Year of the Fire Snake:
The first Star Wars movie was launched, forever changing the science fiction movie scene. In politics, Jimmy Carter took office as the 39th President of the United States, vowing a new age of peace and prosperity.
1989 – Year of the Earth Serpent:
The Berlin Wall came down, marking the end of the Cold War and the reunification of East and West Germany. Separately, protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square resulted in a brutal repression by the Chinese government, leaving a long-lasting impact on the country and its people.
2001 – Year of the Metal Snake:
The world was changed forever by the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the War on Terror that soon followed. Apple introduced the first iPod, revolutionizing how we listen to music, and the very first Harry Potter movie was released, starting a global phenomenon.
2013 – The Year of the Water Snake:
Pope Francis was chosen as Latin America’s first pope, marking a new direction for the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, Edward Snowden revealed confidential information about the NSA’s surveillance programs, triggering a worldwide discussion on privacy and government monitoring.
Famous People Born in the Year of the Snake
The Chinese zodiac gives each year an animal sign, and those born in the Year of the Snake are thought to have special qualities like smarts, charm, and a mysterious personality. Now, let’s see some famous folks born in this year:
- John F. Kennedy: Born in 1917, John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was a charismatic and influential leader known for his oratory skills and vision for a better America.
- Phyllis Diller: This American comedian and actress, born in 1917, left a lasting legacy in the world of entertainment with her sharp wit and distinctive laugh.
- Bob Dylan: Born in 1941, Bob Dylan is a legendary singer-songwriter, and his poetic lyrics and iconic songs have had a profound impact on the music industry and the world.
- George Brett: George Brett, born in 1953, is a Hall of Fame baseball player known for his exceptional skills as a third baseman and designated hitter, spending his entire career with the Kansas City Royals.
- Ferdinand Marcos: The controversial political figure and former President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, was born in 1917 and left a significant mark on his country’s history.
- Carl David Anderson: Born in 1905, Carl David Anderson was a renowned American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the positron, the antimatter counterpart to the electron.
As we look forward to the upcoming CNY in 2025, we also celebrate the Year of the Wood Snake and the 4722nd year of the Chinese calendar. This is a special occasion to honor our heritage, reconnect with our loved ones, and embrace new possibilities. The origin of this ancient festival lies in the legend of a fearsome creature that had to be scared away with fire and noise. Today, it is a joyous celebration of culture and family. It transcends boundaries and signifies transformation and growth.
The Chinese calendar, which combines lunar and solar cycles, adds a touch of mystery to the flow of time. We expect a year of inspiration as we welcome the Wood Snake, known for its inventiveness and wisdom.
With its rich traditions, such as delicious food, lively performances, and the exchange of red envelopes, Chinese New Year is a feast for the senses and a tribute to life. Happy Chinese New Year!
Steven Chen is a professional tarot card reader, astrologer & feng shui master, the author of 2 books that are published in several languages. He also posts articles about astrology and feng shui on Facebook and Medium.