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When Is Lunar New Year 2024? Traditions, Animals, and Superstitions

Lunar New Year 2024 (also known as Chinese New Year) begins on Saturday, February 10, 2024. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2024 is the Year Of The Dragon. Here’s what this means and how to increase your luck according to ancient superstitions.

RELATED: Year Of The Dragon: Character Traits, Compatibility, And More

What Is The Lunar New Year?

The Lunar New Year marks the beginning of a new year according to the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Different than the Gregorian Calendar, which is based on the rising and setting of the Sun, a lunisolar Chinese calendar is based on the movement of the Moon (luna) and the Sun (solar).

The Lunar New Year usually coincides with the second new Moon after the winter solstice, between January 21 to February 21 each year. On rare occasions, it begins on the third new Moon.

While most people in Asia use the Gregorian calendar that we’re familiar with, the lunisolar Chinese calendar is an important part of Asian culture that determines many of the region’s largest holidays and other important events. People often use it to choose dates for weddings, funerals, starting a business, or moving to a new home.

RELATED: The Farmers’ Almanac “Best Days” Calendar

The Lunar New Year is celebrated with a two-part 15-day festival. A Spring Festival lasts for 11 days, followed by the Lantern Festival for four days. In Asia, only the first seven days are considered a public holiday, though many keep up with the traditions for the duration of the Lunar New Year festivities. (There is also an 8-day celebration that precedes the the the Lunar New Year called “Little Year,” during which preparations are made.)

Why is 2024 The Year of the Dragon?

Each year is represented by one of the twelve animal signs in the Chinese zodiac in the following order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (also known as Sheep or Ram), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. According to Chinese legend, Buddha asked all animals to meet him on New Year’s Day and named a year after the 12 who visited him.

Lunar New Year Chinese zodiac animals.
Here is a chart of the 12 animals that make up the Chinese zodiac Signs.

Which Chinese Zodiac Animal Are You?

Locate your birth year below. If you would like a more detailed Chinese zodiac report, go here.

RELATED: Which Zodiac Sign Are You? (Western Astrology)

Rat

  • Years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032 …
  • Traits: Known for originality and initiative, intelligent, energetic, trustworthy, hardworking, loyal, perfectionist, easily-angered but forgiving. May love to gamble.

Ox

  • Years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033 …
  • Traits: Patient, persistent, leader, orderly, cheerful, good speaker, somewhat, stubborn, easily-angered, mentally alert, and cautious in dealing with people.

Tiger

  • Years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034 …
  • Traits: Courageous, aggressive, candid, compassionate, likes flattery, virtuous, very friendly, deep-thinking, logical, gentle, and kind.

Rabbit

  • Years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035 …
  • Traits: Talented, articulate, thrifty, affectionate, diplomatic, tactful, peace-loving, good financially minded, seldom ill-tempered, and sentimental.

Dragon

  • Years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036 …
  • Traits: Humorous, sincere, soft-hearted, opinionated, honest, brave, passionate, trustworthy, healthy, willing to help others, and eager to learn.

RELATED: Learn more about Dragon in the Chinese zodiac

Serpent

  • Years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037 …
  • Traits: Very wise, beautiful (mind and body), fickle, affectionate, seldom discouraged, strong-willed, good with organization, intelligent, and knowledgeable.

Horse

  • Years: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038 …
  • Traits: Extremely independent, artistic, loves music, drama, and literature, strong-willed, energetic, strives for perfection, optimistic, and loving.

Goat (Sheep, Ram)

  • Years: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039 …
  • Traits: Elegant style (especially with clothing), creative, shy, easily-led, religious, tasteful, easy-to-please, sometimes pessimistic, loves art, smart, and friendly.

Monkey

  • Years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040 …
  • Traits: Very clever, charming, well-read, enthusiastic, skilled, has good common sense, loves adventure and travel. Talkative, agile, and has a good memory.

Rooster

  • Years: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041 …
  • Traits: Honest, good worker, self-confident, ambitious, deep thinker, realistic. Excellent foresight, not easily discouraged. Outspoken and frank.

Dog

  • Years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042 …
  • Traits: Loyal, dependable, honest, good executive, and has a sense of humor. Very generous, always helping others. Outgoing, good leaders, artistic, gentle and kind.

Pig

  • Years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043 …
  • Traits: Chivalrous and gallant, honest, has a great thirst for knowledge. Dislikes arguments, kind, well-liked, calm. A slow but careful nature, easy-going manner.

Will 2024 Be a Lucky Year for Dragons?

While it may seem lucky to be a Dragon in the Year of the Dragon, the opposite is believed to be true! In Chinese astrology, the year that lines up with your zodiac sign is known as your Ben Ming Nian, a term that refers to a person’s zodiac being the same as the current year’s zodiac. So Lunar New Year 2024 is a Dragon’s Ben Ming Nian.

Chinese astrology says that when it is your sign’s Ben Ming Nian, it will be your year of Fan Tai Sui. “Fan Tai Sui” means that you are offending the Tai Sui, who is the guardian god for the year. All of that is a complicated way of saying beware—there’s bad luck ahead!

It is believed that during Ben Ming Nian, a person—at the very least—may endure misunderstandings, setbacks and minor mishaps, but they are most likely to experience disasters. (Sounds a bit similar to those who believe in the power of Mercury Retrograde.)

Luckily, Chinese mythology has a few remedies to help ward off bad luck. These traditions include:

  • Praying to the Tai Sui early in the year for protection and peace.
  • Wearing an amulet made to protect against the effects of Tai Sui.
  • Doing good deeds and behaving with love and kindness, especially to elders and the needy, which helps gain the favor of the Tai Sui.
  • Worshipping the Tai Sui, often by setting up a shrine in your home to make offerings to both the god and the year’s zodiac animal.
  • Wearing red, which is said to help improve your fortune and ward off Fan Tai Sui. Red is considered to be a joyous and auspicious color.
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9 Superstitions For Lunar New Year 2024

Regardless of your Chinese zodiac sign, increase your luck for Lunar New Year 2024 with these nine superstitions:

1. Housecleaning should be done before the Chinese New Year’s Day to sweep away bad luck from the previous year. No sweeping or dusting is allowed on New Year’s Day so that good fortune will not be swept away.

2. All doors and windows must be open at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve to allow the old year to escape. It also allows the good luck of the New Year to enter.

3. Setting off firecrackers on New Year’s Eve scares away evil spirits while sending out the old year and welcoming the new one.

4. Precedents are set on New Year’s Day. Therefore, nothing should be loaned on this day, or else the lender will be loaning all year. Mischievous children are never punished on this day to avoid tears destined to last the whole year through.

5. Do not use references to death or the past, use foul language and unlucky words, or the telling of ghost stories, which are taboo on this day.

6. Children are given red envelopes or packets containing even numbered amounts of money since odd-numbered amounts of money are traditionally given during funerals. (Note: Odd and even numbers are determined by the first digit. For instance, “30” is an odd number.) The only exception to the rule is that $4 is never given, as the number four is bad luck. The Chinese word for “four” is a homophone for the word “death.” Eight dollars is commonly given, as the number 8 is considered good luck.

Give red envelopes with eight dollars for Lunar New Year 2024.

7. Hair washing is forbidden. Leave your hair as it is on the first day of the New Year. The Chinese character for hair is the same first character in the word for prosper. This means washing or cutting it off is seen as washing your fortune away and dramatically reduces your chances for prosperity and good fortune in the year.

8. Knives and scissors may not be used because they may cut off fortune.

9. Celebrants wear red to scare away evil spirits and bad fortune and ensure a bright future. Black and white should not be worn as black symbolizes bad luck, and white is a Chinese funeral color. People typically dress in new clothes and shoes to symbolize a new beginning for the New Year.

Join The Discussion

Which Chinese zodiac sign are you?

How will you celebrate Lunar New Year 2024?

Share with your community here in the comments below!

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Deborah Arnold

I was born Nov. 1954. So I’m a Horse….. I love Horses ! Go figure.

Nancie Tarnowski

I was born in the year of the Monkey. I am a Rabbit.

Alli

How can you be born in the year of the monkey, but are a rabbit?

David Fiske

I am a rabbit

rose

You forgot the rabbit!

Tulip

the rabbit is there look harder.

CSH

Its there…but they forgot the sheep

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