Why is Chinese new year in February and why does it change each year?
(Picture: Getty)

Chinese New Year is celebrated all across the world, with people coming together to wish each other good luck and a prosperous year ahead.

This New Year marks the start of the year of the dog, which is regarded in Chinese culture as an auspicious animal.

While in our Gregorian calendar we celebrate New Year on January 1st, the Chinese New Year celebrations begin at a different time each year.

This year festivities will get underway on February 16th.

Why is Chinese new year in February and why does it change each year?
A dog lantern is illuminated at Xinghai Square on December 29, 2017 in Dalian, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

The reason it’s held at a different time each year is because, while our years correspond to the earth’s cycle around the sun, the Chinese year is based around the moon.

Also known as a Lunar New Year, it differs annually because a lunar month is around two days shorter than a Western month.

Chinese New Year always falls on the second day of the new moon after the winter solstice.

Why is Chinese new year in February and why does it change each year?
(Picture: Dinendra Haria/WENN.com/Rex)

Every so often, a thirteenth month is added to the year, to help catch it up with the seasons.

That means, Chinese New Year is always between January 21st and February 21st.

Celebrations typically last up to two weeks, with street parties and ceremonies worldwide.

Dancers perform a traditional dragon dance during the Chinese New Year parade in London, part of the Chinese New Year's celebrations to mark the beginning of the year of the Rooster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 29, 2017. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
(Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Businesses also shut down for a period of time, and people wear symbolic red to promote good fortune for the coming months.

There’s a longstanding tradition whereby people give gifts of money in small red envelopes.

Much like our Western observances, there will be fireworks, music, and parades.

2018 will be the year of the earth dog, while 2017 was the year of the fire rooster.

Chinese astrologers foretell that it will be an unlucky year for anyone who was also born in a year of the dog. That means if you were born in 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, or 1970, you should maybe just stay at home until the year of the pig comes around.

What your Chinese zodiac symbol is

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

Goat: 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

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