Chinese New Year

The Chinese celebrate the Year of the Rooster in 2017. Their official new year begins on Saturday 28th January and ends on 15th February 2018. Also called the Spring Festival, because the dates are governed by the Chinese lunisolar calendar, they change every year. We take a look at some of the traditions surrounding the Chinese New Year and what the Year of the Rooster has in store for us.


As with Western horoscopes, there are twelve signs, or houses, that govern the Chinese zodiac. However, each of the twelve signs govern for an entire year – the next year of the rooster will be in 2029.


What Are You?

Your house is governed by the year in which you were born. Here’s a rough guide, but it’s worth double-checking if you were born in January or February as it may vary depending on the start dates of each particular new year.

• Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
• Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
• Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
• Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
• Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
• Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
• Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
• Sheep: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
• Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
• Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
• Dog: 2018: 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
• Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

So what does the Year of the Rooster have in store for us. Here’s what the respected Astrology Club has to say on the matter:
“Consider a rooster in a barnyard, protecting his hens and strutting his stuff. Well, that’s about it. The Year of the Rooster will be a year that the most vital promise made will result in a flawless job, no matter what it takes to achieve it.
It will be a year when it is truly better to do less, but do it perfectly.

The Year of the Rooster teaches the lessons of order, scrutiny and strategic planning.

The sage advice of Sun-Zi, which is still taught in modern military circles, advises one to “achieve psychological advantage over the adversary and use force only as a last resort.”

Roosters are also communal birds. That is why Year of the Rooster 2017 predictions promise to be lucky for joint ventures. It hints at signing as many business contracts as possible and forming new partnerships in the forthcoming year.

But a word of warning: overconfidence may lead to new and daring ventures. The Year of the Rooster 2017 heralds happiness, colour and drama, but this has to be balanced with good, old-fashioned common sense and tried-and-tested values. Otherwise it could end up becoming more of a wild goose chase. The motto for the Year of the Rooster 2017 should be ‘Kiss: Keep It Simple Stupid’ and don’t take offense at the smallest of provocations.

There’s a Chinese saying,

‘If you take a step back, you will find the sea and the sky is boundless.’

Remember, good values never go out of style, no matter how hard it may seem to apply them. He who dares will ultimately have plenty to crow about in the end, with plenty in their pockets too – there’s a challenge for the rooster in all of us.

So there you have it – time to stop monkeying around and allow a strict daily routine to rule the roost.

8 o'clock

The rooster is the first creature to awake in the morning and wakes up the others with crowing.

Time to get up and get on with it.
Did you know?

Chinese New Year will be celebrated by a fifth of the world’s population – it’s a big Festival in London too. Find out more here:


Billions of red envelopes containing money will be given out as a sign of good fortune. The beautifully-decorated envelopes contain coins and employees give them to staff, parents to children and so on.



Before the New Year, people clean their houses from top to bottom to sweep away the bad luck of the previous year. It also means settling any unfinished business such as paying your debts and resolving issues with any friends.

Getting together with your family for a big meal is very important at this time of year. However, all the preparation has to be done in advance as you’re not supposed to touch knives or other sharp objects on New Year’s day itself as it cuts off good luck.




Lucky foods to eat at the Chinese New year include noodles, fish, niangao (glutinous rice cakes), sweet rice balls or tangyuan, dumplings, spring rolls and good fortune fruit such as orange. We at Yutaka have some great East meets West recipes for you to try that we’ll share with you next week.

新年快乐 / 新年快樂 (Xīnnián kuàilè)
‘New Year happiness!’

• In Mandarin: /sshin-nyen kwhy-ler/

• In Cantonese: /sen-nin feye-lor/