Chinese New Year 2025 – Animal, Start Date, Celebration

Celebrating Chinese New Year brings magic to the hearts and minds of millions of people worldwide. 

As the Chinese zodiac wheel spins, the Year of the Dragon 2024 gives way to the Year of the Serpent. It’s almost as if we’re shifting from the energetic and blazing opening act of a theatrical production to a more reflective and introspective second act. The Dragon is renowned for its strong energy and audacity, meanwhile the Snake epitomises a more contemplative and strategical outlook.

Also known as the Spring Festival, the event is filled with traditions and folklore stretching back centuries. With the year of the Wood Snake, fast approaching, taking place on Wednesday, the 29th of January (29/1/2025), a new cycle in the Chinese zodiac is upon us, a season of renewal and new beginnings. These are exciting times to pause and reflect on the past, cherish the present and view the future with hope and zest.

Just as the snake sheds its old skin and changes into a shiny new one, Chinese New Year 2025 will allow people to give up bad habits, adopt new ones for their benefit and look forward to the future with hope.

The Chinese Year of the Snake will be a year of putting worries and problems aside and turning your attention to the delight and excitement ahead. From the hype around dinner preparations to the magnificence of the parade and fireworks, Lunar New Year 2023 will be a feast for the senses and an actual festival of life.

chinese new year 2025

History and Origins of Chinese New Year

The Genesis of the Chinese New Year is rooted in antiquity, a period when humans used to worship gods and nature. Legend has it that the Chinese New Year originally began as a way to banish a mythical beast commonly known as Nian, reputed to come out of its hideout on the first day of the lunar calendar in order to cause devastation among villagers.

To fight this scary beast, people would light fireworks, beat drums and cymbals and display red banners and lanterns outside their homes. These ceremonies were meant to scare the Nian away, spreading luck and good fortune in the community.

With time, those ancient rituals morphed into the more sophisticated customs and traditions seen in modern times. For instance, the reunion dinner, which is held on New Year’s Eve, is a special time for families to reunite and feast on traditional dishes such as dumplings and fish. Doing so is considered to bring good luck and auspiciousness for the following year.

Giving hongbaon to children and unmarried adults (i.e. red envelopes with money), is another practice widely used on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, meant to attract wealth in the new year and ward off evil spirits.

At present, Lunar New Year is widely celebrated not only in China, but also in other countries with a substantial Chinese population, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. For families, it is a time to reunite, honor their elders and rekindle their hopes and aspirations for the coming year.

On many levels, Chinese New Year can be seen as a metaphor for life – a celebration of renewal, personal growth and change. In the same way that the lunar cycle introduces new beginnings, the Chinese New Year is also a good time to think about our future and make positive changes.

 Zodiac Signs and the Lunar New Year 2025

According to the Chinese Zodiac, there is a 12-year cycle that designates an animal for each year. It is said that each animal shares its characteristics and unique traits influencing the luck and personality of people born in that year. The Wood Snake is the fifth animal within the cycle and is believed to have qualities that include creativity, intelligence and flexibility.

About the children who will be born in 2025, it is said that they will be wise, charming and have philosophical qualities when they are adults. The Wood element will give those born in the year of the Snake 2025 a deep connection to nature and a great scope of determination.

Celebration of Chinese New Year 2025

Preparing for Chinese New Year is a joyful and festive time, characterized by a variety of ancient traditions and rituals passed down from generation to generation. In 2025, celebrating Chinese New Year holds the promise of being an extraordinary event as we usher in the Year of the Wood Snake with all the tremendous benefits it offers.

Generally, the party begins on Chinese New Year’s Eve with an anniversary dinner, when family members have the opportunity to gather and dine together. Afterwards, firecrackers will be lit and bells and gongs will be rung, as they scare away evil spirits and grant good luck for the year ahead.

The Chinese enjoy this celebration for 15 days, each of which is characterised by different traditions.

For example, on the second day of the new lunar year, dogs and pets are celebrated. That is why on this day their guardians have a special grey ja for them by spoiling them with various delicacies.

The fifth day of the festivities is known for the custom of eating shanks and wearing red clothes. Last but not least, the 7th day of CNY is known as the birthday of the common people.

Of course, one of the most popular customs is the lion dance, a traditional art performed on the occasion of Chinese New Year and other important events. The lion dance is one of the most loved dances in China and the lion is considered a symbol of power and happiness. 

During the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD), this dance enjoyed great popularity and was a regular feature of Chinese New Year performances and large-scale fairs.

Over more than 1000 years, two styles of dance began to be distinguished, the style of dance practiced in the southern regions and that typical of the northern regions of China. 

The lion can be represented either by one person or by two. When two people dance it, one plays the lion’s head, the other the lion’s body. The person in front leads the dance, and the lion does all sorts of things, such as jumping, playing on the ball, praying, etc.The role of this dance is to ward off demons.

Giving hongbao, or red envelopes stuffed with money, to children and unmarried adults as gifts is also an important part of the Chinese New Year. Its a mark of good luck and fortune, and giving is regarded as a way of spreading happiness to others.

Interesting Events That Happened in Past Snake Years

Each animal in Chinese astrology is linked to a certain element, which shifts every 60 years. Hence, a Wood Snake year, such as 2025, occurs only every 60 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 Serpent: The first Star Wars movie was launched, changing the science fiction movie scene forever. 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.

In retrospect, it is clear that the last few Snake years have been punctuated by both meaningful progress and important setbacks. Although it is not possible to accurately predict what 2025, the year of the Wood Snake, will bring, we can anticipate a year of growth, resilience and flexibility. 

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