Chinese New Year 2024 is just around the corner but when does it begin in February?

Also known as the Spring Festival, the significant event on the Chinese calendar “started out as a celebration of when crops ripened on the banks of China’s Yellow River.”

Published on National Museums Liverpool, BBC broadcaster Billy Hui BEM adds: “The date for Chinese New Year shifts around in our Gregorian calendar because the traditional Chinese calendar is based on a lunar cycle with 30 days in each month.”

This is also the reason why Easter falls on a different date each year.

The Chinese New Year zodiac animals change annually on a twelve-year cycle “but there are also five different types of each animal represented by the five elementary elements from Chinese culture” explains Billy – this includes earth, wood, fire, water and metal.

While 2023 was the year of the Water Rabbit, 2024 is the year of the Wood Dragon.

When does Chinese New Year start in 2024?

This year, Chinese New Year will begin on Saturday, February 10. It will then last for 15 days with the Lantern Festival marking the end of the celebrations.

What is the meaning of Year of the Dragon in 2024?

Billy commented: “The most famous of the Chinese Zodiac animals, the Dragon is strong and independent and is a great leader yet they will seek support and reassurance from others.

“Can sometimes be eccentric but very passionate and have abundant health. The Dragon is compatible with the Monkey or Rat but try to avoid the Dog.”

Oxford Mail: Will you be attending any local parades for Chinese New Year?Will you be attending any local parades for Chinese New Year? (Image: Fabio De Paola/PA)

The Year of the Dragon occurs in 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036 and so on.

What do the animals mean in Chinese New Year?

Below, Billy outlines what each of the Chinese New Year zodiac animals means along with their corresponding years.

What year is the Year of the Rat?

Years: 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032 and so on

“The Rat is ambitious and honest. Prone to spending freely, they seldom make lasting relationships unfortunately!

“They are most compatible with Dragons and Monkeys but least compatible with the Horse. But Year Of The Ox is a good year for the Rat!”

@kayak_uk How and where to celebrate Chinese New Year 2024 in London. 🏮🎊 #lunarnewyear #chinesenewyear #chinesenewyear2024 #yearofthedragon #chinesenewyearinlondon #thingstodolondonfree #chinatownlondon ♬ Shootout (Sped Up) - Izzamuzzic & Julien Marchal

What year is the Year of the Ox?

Years: 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033 and so on

“The Ox is bright, patient and inspiring to others. This strong sign of the calendar is happy to be by themselves, yet can make an outstanding friend and companion.

“Look for the Snake or Chicken for good compatibility but try to avoid the Sheep, who could bring trouble!”

What year is the Year of the Tiger?

Years: 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034 and so on

“The Tiger has a mixture of traits and can be aggressive, courageous, candid and sensitive all at the same time!

“A Chinese symbol of power and often compared with emperors and kings. Find the Horse or the Dog for happiness but beware of the mischievous Monkey.”

Oxford Mail: 2023 was the Year of the Rabbit2023 was the Year of the Rabbit (Image: Fabio De Paola/PA)

What year is the Year of the Rabbit?

Years: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035 and so on

“The luckiest of all signs in the Chinese calendar. The Rabbit is talented and articulate, affectionate yet shy.

“This clever sign of the Chinese Zodiac seeks peace throughout life. The Jade Rabbit is a main character in the story of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Compatible with the Sheep or the Pig but the opposite sign to the Chicken.”

What is the Year of the Snake?

Years: 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037 and so on

“The Snake is wise and very intense with a tendency towards physical beauty. This member of the Chinese zodiac can often be vain with a fiery temperament.

“The Snake has different meanings for different parts of Chinese culture, with some believing the Snake is a strong protector whilst others believe it can be untrustworthy. Look for the Chicken or the Ox for happiness. The Pig is your enemy.” Celebrating the Chinese New Year in Trafalgar Square #chinesenewyear #chinesenewyear2023 #yearoftherabbit #london #fyp ♬ original sound -

What is the Year of the Horse?

Years: 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038 and so on

“The Horse is popular and is very attractive to others. This Chinese calendar sign is often ostentatious and impatient.

“Despite these traits, this lively character is considered to be warm-hearted and enthusiastic. The Horse needs to be with people and does not like to be alone. Compatible with the Tiger or the Dog but never the Rat.”

What is the Tear of the Sheep/Goat?

Years: 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039

“This timid sign of the Chinese Calendar prefers anonymity to standing out from the crowd. The Sheep is elegant and creative, compassionate and amicable.

“They will avoid confrontation, where possible, and their natural insecurity will drive them to look for protection and love. Most compatible with the Pig and Rabbit but never the Ox so be careful this year!”

Oxford Mail: Which Chinese zodiac animal year were you born in?Which Chinese zodiac animal year were you born in? (Image: Fabio De Paola/PA)

What year is the Year of the Monkey?

Years: 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040

“This mischievous sign of the Chinese Zodiac is very intelligent and a great influencer of people. The Monkey is an enthusiastic achiever and quick learner but is easily distracted and confused plus can be readily discouraged when the going gets tough.

“Very sociable and witty making this sign well loved - but be careful if you turn your back on this character! The Monkey needs to avoid the Tiger but seek out the Rat or the Dragon for happiness.”

What year is the Year of the Rooster?

Years: 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041 and so on

“The Chicken or Rooster is a pioneer in spirit and is devoted to work, with a great thirst for knowledge.

“This focus on work and knowledge can mean that this character is often seen as selfish and eccentric.

“Chickens are often blessed with physical beauty and will usually be the best dressed in the room and will want to be noticed. The Rabbit can bring trouble for the Chicken  but the Snake and the Ox can be lifelong friends.”

@chinatownlondon With two weeks to go until Chinese New Year, here are five ways to celebrate in Chinatown ⛩️: 1. Enjoy celebratory dishes at one of Chinatown's many restaurants, from lucky dumplings and nian gao to whole chicken, fish, and longevity noodles 🥢 2. Chinese New Year is an important occasion for family reunions; gather with friends and family to celebrate 🥟 3. Pick up red envelopes and lucky decorations from supermarkets in Chinatown 🧧 4. Join a family friendly half-term Lunar New Year walking tour with China Exchange ⛩️ 5. Take a leisurely stroll beneath the red lanterns 🏮 #chinatownlondon #chinesenewyear #visitlondon #lunarnewyear #celebrations #letsdolondon ♬ original sound - ChinatownLondon

What year is the Year of the Dog?

Years: 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042 and so on

“Both loyal and honest, the Dog works well with others. This character can be lazy at times but will always be looking for the next adventure or challenge.

“A mix of traits will mean the Dog is very generous but can be stubborn and selfish at the same time! Quick witted and candid, the Dog is compatible with the Horse and Tiger but beware of the Dragon!”

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What year is the Year of the Pig?

Years: 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043 and so on

“Noble and considerate, the Pig is a symbol of luck and wealth in Chinese culture.

“This sign of the Chinese Zodiac will have lifelong friends but unfortunately be prone to marital strife!

“The Pig is considered to be sincere and genuine with a warm heart which means that this character is well liked and loved. Well, except by their partners! The Pig needs to avoid other Pigs but look to the Rabbit and the Sheep for friendship.”