The ’New Year’ (春节, ’Chūnjié’) is the main annual festival in China determined by the old Chinese calendar. It falls on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice, so it may happen between January 21st and February 20th; in 2017, it occurs accurately on January 28th at 00:06:58 UT (Jan. 27 th., 20:06:58 EST). Although the Chinese calendar traditionally does not use continuously numbered years, its years are sometimes numbered from the purported reign of the mythical Yellow Emperor (黃帝; ’ Huángdì’) in the 3rd millennium BCE. But at least three different versions are now used by various scholars, making the year CE 2017 the ’Chinese year’ 4715, 4714, or 4654.
The Chinese calendrical tradition has a 60-year cycle (六十花甲 ,’liùshí huājiǎ’), divided into 5 smaller 12 year cycles, and to each one of those 12 years was assigned the name of an animal. Hence within a 60-year cycle, each animal year will be repeated 5 times, dominated by one of 5 different elements, such that every year in the 60-year cycle has its own distinctive character, and each person born in that year will share those distinctive annual characteristics. Last year was the year of the ’Fire Monkey’ (丙申, ’Bǐngshēn’), and this one – like the year from Jan. 31st, 1957 until Feb. 17th, 1958 – will be subordinated to the ’Fire Rooster’ (丁酉, ’Dīngyǒu’).
It is said that ’Roosters’ are powerful personalities and notoriously dominant. In groups they are vivacious, amusing and popular, but it is widespread in China that two ’Roosters’ under the same roof make life intolerable for everyone else. 🙂 Under the influence of the ’Fire’ element, ’Roosters’ become vigorous, highly motivated and authoritative, able to operate independently, with great precision and skill, although they can also be temperamental and nervous at times. They are strongly principled and single-minded in his pursuit of success, abiding fanatically by their own views, conducting their own research, unmoved and unswayed by the opinions or feelings of others.
New Moon will stay in the ’Ox Mansion’ (牛宿, ’Niú Xiù’ – Element: Metal; Planet: Venus; Deity: The patron deity of roads, paths and barriers) that is one of the twenty-eight ancient Chinese lunar houses (of inequal extent) belonging to the ’Black Tortoise’ (cf. ’Four Symbols’, 四象, ’Sì Xiàng’). Its determinative star is β Capricorni alias ’Dabih’ (see chartwheels below), known in China as the ’First Star of Ox’ (牛宿一, ’Niú Su yī’).
The same logogram ’Niu’ is used for oxen, water buffalo as well as cattle indicating an animal of proverbial strength, what is more, as water buffalo, it was often associated with rivers and water. Beef tea has for long been a potent medicinal tonic. At New Year, the Emperor himself dug a ritual furrow using an ox-powered plow, because the Ox is associated with Spring and the Prosperity and connected with the rearing of silkworms. >>> More Astro Info