The Chinese new year begins on Friday 16 February. That puts it 47 days later than the new year according to the western calendar. This difference in dates can be highly significant, especially for those who like to make new year’s resolutions.
Let’s look at 1st January. It comes right in the middle of winter very close to the winter equinox. So therefore, it is a time of minimal daylight (and vitamin D!) and usually rather challenging weather, which may include rain, cold, snow, or combinations of the fore-mentioned. On top of this, all the festivities associated with Christmas are over, which can leave people feeling a bit flat. So we should ask ourselves is this really the best time to make life-changing resolutions and to attempt to get new projects up and running?
Traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy place large significance on the seasons and the cycle of nature. Winter is understood as a time when we should rest and recuperate, conserve energy and keep an inward focus, just like animals which hibernate and foliage that sheds it’s leaves at this time of year. This goes against the idea of choosing the start of January to make great, sweeping life changes and pushing ourselves towards exciting goals.
Chinese New Year is also referred to as the Spring Festival. Spring is the time associated with expansion and inspiration and outward focus. Spring is very much a time for doing. Thus, it is a much more appropriate time for making any resolutions and taking new directions. If we choose this time to take on new ventures and to follow new directions, we are more likely to succeed.
In truth, although Chinese New Year is referred to as the Spring Festival, with it’s exact date dependent upon the lunar cycle but falling some time between late January and mid-February, this is still rather a wintry time of year. It affords better timing than 1st January, but perhaps it might well be worth waiting until the first blossoms arrive before making important resolutions. That way you will be maximising your chances of success.
I do not need to make a resolution to attend the Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown and Trafalgar Square this year. I had a great time last year, and this year as we enter the Year of the Dog, I intend to be there to enjoy all the revelry.
To find out more about Chinese New Year celebrations in London, go to:
To find out some more about traditional Chinese culture and the practice of Chinese medicine, take a look at: