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Chinese New Year 2023

The Year of the Rabbit

By Linda RivenbarkPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 5 min read
Chinese New Year 2023
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

The Year of the Rabbit Begins January 22, 2023, and concludes on February 5, 2024 with the Year of the Dragon. The Lunar New Year follows the phases of the moon, always beginning with a New Moon and ending with a Full Moon, as illustrated in the photo below.

By Linda Xu on Unsplash

On the 22nd day of January 2023, communities in China, other Asian communities, and neighborhoods around the world will begin their 15-day Lunar New Year’s festivities, heralding the end of the “Year of the Tiger” and the beginning of the “Year of the Rabbit”. As seen in the picture below, rabbits blend in with the colors and textures of nature so perfectly, they seem to be one with the earth.

By Julie Marsh on Unsplash

Some Ways the Chinese Lunar New Year is Celebrated

A major focus of the Chinese Lunar New Year is the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring with the first signs of the rebirth and regeneration of nature. Where there were only empty branches on trees throughout the winter, Spring brings buds, then leaves, and on some trees (like the one pictured below), exquisite, delicate pink blossoms looking breathtaking on the background of a clear, blue sky.

By Arno Smit on Unsplash

Yearly celebrations might include buying flowers from lavishly stocked flower markets and attending Temple Fairs. Both markets and fairs might feature flowers of many shapes, colors, and sizes. Radiant red, yellow, orange, or even purple tulips brighten up the environment and help lift people's spirits, helping them celebrate in style.

Participants in outdoor activities are entertained and believed to be protected while celebrating in the streets by parades of lion and dragon dancers as seen in the picture below. The dancers portend to assure good luck in the New Year and ward off bad luck.

By Mick Haupt on Unsplash

The color red figures largely in the Chinese Lunar New Year’s Celebrations, because red is believed to keep bad spirits away and assure good fortune and abundance in the coming year.

Many people wear red clothing and children often receive money as a gift, sealed in crimson-colored envelopes, as a symbol of a wish for abundance in their lives.

By Natasya Chen on Unsplash

Fireworks play a big part in Lunar New Year's celebrations. Against a dark blue sky, fireworks of lavender, pink, light blue, and white explode into shapes, as pictured below. They may resemble flower blossoms with arching streaks below that look they could be the stems and branches of flowering plants.

Bright, primary colors like red, blue, and yellow may come from the fireworks as well. In addition to setting off extravagant fireworks in celebration, people leave lights on throughout the night on the Lunar New Year's Day!

By Anthony Da Cruz on Unsplash

Animals Represent the Chinese Zodiac

According to the Chinese Zodiac, also referred to as the Shu Xiang, or the Sheng Xiao, twelve animal signs represent the years in repeating fashion. The order of these signs are as follows:

Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. 

Great significance is attached to each animal sign, and the Rabbit is one of the gentlest, most tender animals in the Chinese Zodiac.

The rabbit follows the ferocious tiger as pictured below with its orange, black and white stripes and intimidating roar, who exerts a great deal of ‘yang’ energy, focused on gaining at all costs, getting its way with or without serenity or peace.

By Paul Morley on Unsplash

The benevolent ‘rabbit’, on the other hand, yields a ‘yin’ energy, with a soft approach that reaps the benefits of a quiet, regal confidence that can restore the human spirit to vigor and vitality that might have been stripped away by the mighty tiger.

Looking at the gentle brown and white rabbit seen in this picture can help ease tensions in its viewer, and it may help us breathe more easily and enjoy our day a little better.

By Dmitriy Ignatenko on Unsplash

It could be just what the whole world needs right now.

A quote from an article by the New York Post needs to be shared, because it is so perfect, word-for-word; (Article entitled: “Chinese New Year 2023 Predictions: What to Expect in the Year of the Rabbit”).

“Legend holds that the rabbit was the familiar of the moon goddess Chang’e and the creature and the year it governs are imbued with a noble knowing and a certain serenity. The soft approach of the regal rabbit encourages us to move through the world with quiet confidence, low key cunning, and the knowledge that kindness is not weakness but rather benevolent strategy.”

We are reminded in the photo below that kindness can change the world. Someone must have kept and read this sign many times over a long period of time, since the words are beginning to fade out, while leaving enough to still read the sentiment.

By Stefano Valtorta on Unsplash

The Rabbit represents beauty, grace, good luck, and mercy.

For almost three years now, we have all, worldwide, been living in an alternate reality.

Not that everything had been all peachy before the spring of 2020, but it became surreal in a different way than anyone living had ever seen before.

The advent of Covid-19 brought sickness, desperation, death, and topped it off with more division and disunity than we already had to deal with.

By Branimir Balogović on Unsplash

We have gained some good things since then - testing, vaccines, treatments, some progress in moving away from this awful new reality (I won’t say new normal).

We hoped 2021 would bring us back to “the way things were”. It didn’t.

We put out our best wishes in 2022 for a turning point.

Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT saying we have not made progress.

We have!

But new variants, necessary changes of living conditions, the struggle to get the death rates under control, inflation, unemployment, political discord…we are tired.

I like to think, after much interesting research today, that the year of 2023 will be gentler, more forgiving, encouraging, and serene than the last three years have been.

By Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

So, wherever you are in the world,

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!!!


About the Creator

Linda Rivenbark

I believe in the magic of words, love, and tenacity. There is a world out there that needs to be explored, researched, and written out to try to make some sense of it, and to make a better place for the children of tomorrow.

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Comments (5)

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  • Babs Iverson5 months ago

    Happy Lunar New Year!!! Fantastic read with lots of information!!! Loved it!!!💕💖

  • Lisa A Lachapelle5 months ago

    This is a great article. Luv'd learning about the Chinese New Year.

  • Tiffany Gordon 5 months ago

    Fantastic work Linda! Very enjoyable piece! Happi New Year! 🎉

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    Great article. Thank you for sharing.

  • Veronica Coldiron5 months ago

    I learned a lot from this and enjoyed it! Thank you for this!

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