About the Lunar New Year
The Lunar Calendar
The Lunar New Year 4718 will be celebrated on 25 January 2020. It celebrates Xin Nian, the Chinese New Year, Solnal, the Korean New Year, Tết, the Vietnamese New Year and Losar, the New Year celebrations for Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.
This date is based on the traditional Chinese Agricultural Calendar. The calendar is lunisolar (primarily lunar and partially solar) guided by the movement of the moon as well as the sun and commonly called the lunar calendar.
The Chinese lunar calendar is associated with the Chinese zodiac, which has 12 animal signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal represents a year in a 12 year cycle, beginning on Lunar New Year's Day. There are many legends concerning the choice and order of the animals and their characteristics which are said to be imparted to people born in their year.
Year of the Rat and the Kangaroo
2020 is the Year of the Rat.
The Australian Chinese Zodiac was developed to promote understanding between Chinese and Australian cultures by the Chinese Precinct Chamber of Commerce in Australia. Animals from the traditional zodiac have been matched to native animals according to their perceived similar characteristics. This year the Rat is matched to the Kangaroo.
The rat is noted for its charm and hardworking personality, which always attracts a level of gain. It is sociable and looks after its family.
The red kangaroo is noted for its charm and confidence. The kangaroo is a social animal and good at looking after its family and young.
How schools can be involved
- Explore the history of the Chinese on the goldfields via Sydney Living Museums or Museums Victoria.
- Use the Harvest of Endurance scroll at Making Multicultural Australia to create a short story about one of the characters in Chinese-Australian history.
- Research the establishment of the Vietnamese communities in Australia via the National Museum of Australia.
- Research well-known people born in a Year of the Rat.
- Map the countries where lunar New Year is traditionally celebrated.