Happy Chinese New Year!

Saturday January 28th is a day many of our ESL students are looking forward to… The Chinese or Lunar New Year! I usually highlight important things I feel will help our ESL students through their time in America and be successful at Hancock International College. Today I’d like to share what I’ve learned about this important day for our international students and wish all who celebrate this day a very happy new year! Here’s what I learned from chinahighlights.com

“The Chinese animal zodiac, or shengxiao (/shnng-sshyaoww/ ‘born resembling’), is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes. Traditionally these zodiac animals were used to date the years. In order, the 12 animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.

There are two dates a Chinese zodiac year could be said to start on, and neither is January 1! China traditionally uses two calendars: the solar calendar and the lunar calendar. The traditional solar calendar has 24 fifteen-day solar terms, and the first, called ‘Start of Spring’, falls on February 4 (or 5). The lunar calendar has 12 or 13 months and starts on Chinese New Year, which is somewhere in the period January 21 to February 20.

Most Chinese people use lunar New Year as the start of the zodiac year. But for fortune telling and astrology, people believe ‘Start of Spring’ is the beginning of the zodiac year. The 12 animals were chosen deliberately, after many revisions. The zodiac animals are either closely related to ancient Chinese people’s daily lives, or have lucky meanings. The ox, horse, goat, rooster, pig, and dog are six of the main domestic animals raised by Chinese people. The other six animals: rat, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, and monkey are all loved by the Chinese people.

2017 Marks the Chinese Year of the Rooster! According to Chinese astrology, the year of one’s birth… is the most unlucky year in the 12-year cycle. In the year of your sign, fortune in all aspects of your life will not be as good. Therefore ‘Roosters’ should be more careful in years of the Rooster.

People born in a year of the Rooster are very observant. Hardworking, resourceful, courageous and talented, Roosters are very confident about themselves. Roosters are always active, amusing and popular among the crowd. Roosters are talkative, outspoken, frank, open, honest, and loyal individuals. They like to be the center of attention and always appear attractive and beautiful.”

Read the full article here: http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/

Learn sayings and Paint your own virtual Chinese New Year Greeting at the link below!


Idiom of the Day

Sneak the Sunrise Past a Rooster

Meaning: Attempt something that’s impossible, or be slick enough to do something by stealth. This predominantly Southern expression was famously used by California Angels first baseman Joe Adock.

Example: Trying to sneak a pitch past a pro player is like trying to sneak the sunrise past a rooster.”