Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from PRH! Celebrate with us and learn more about the year of the Goat! Why is the New Year in February? China uses both the Gregorian calendar and the more traditional Chinese lunar calendar. Today’s New Year refers to the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar, which falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Every month begins with the new moon and lasts for 29 to 30 days as it follows the lunar cycle. Year of the Goat? The Chinese lunar calendar corresponds to the twelve Chinese zodiac signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Your Chinese zodiac sign is determined by your birth year, and every sign corresponds to a set of characteristics, much like the Western zodiac. Unlike the Western zodiac however, every Chinese zodiac sign lasts for one year, so the cycle takes twelve years to complete. We have just embarked into the year of the Goat, which astrologers predict will be a calmer, more creatively inspired year than last year. If you were born in the year of the Goat, you tend towards more calm and peaceful behavior, and this coming year will be full of good fortune and prosperity. Goat or Sheep? The Chinese character “yang” translates to both “sheep” and “goat,” thus the confusion. Either works but traditionally the calendar refers to the goat. How is the New Year Celebrated? The Chinese New Year is widely celebrated throughout China, and the days before the celebration begins hold the largest human migration in present day: approximately 2.8 billion people travel across China to celebrate the holiday with their families. The holiday lasts for two weeks, and includes fireworks, parades, dragon dances and celebrations, and ends with the Lantern Festival on the final day, where red lanterns are released into the sky to ensure prosperity in the new year. Traditionally small red envelopes filled with money are given to children in celebration throughout the festival. Celebrate locally! Although Bozeman is more than a stone’s throw away from China, here are some ways to celebrate here in Montana: Wear red for good fortune and prosperity in the new year. Find out which Chinese zodiac sign you belong to and learn more about it here. Make some dumplings, a traditional festival treat. Here’s a great, easy recipe.

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