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Celebration of Chinese New Year

Today it’s national holiday in Indonesia and in some East Asian countries to celebrate Chinese New Year. We call it Imlek. According to my friends who celebrate it, they have the tradition to make supper a family feast on the Eve of Chinese New Year. That explains why “Singapore,” a Chinese restaurant in Central Jakarta was packed with Chinese families last evening when my friends and I went for dinner there. The singles and children will receive angpao (literally means red packet). Angpao are typically given to the unmarried by the married, most of whom are children. Usually people give brand new notes put inside red envelopes.

Few days before the Chinese New Year I went to Glodok, China Town, in North Jakarta. I saw many shops selling dashing red and gold decoration with popular themes of “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. In Jakarta, shopping malls are decorated with red colours, lanterns and flashing “Gong Xi Fa Cai” wishes. Gong Xi Fa Cai literally means wishing you enlarge your wealth, thus it means to wish you to be prosperous.

Year of 2011 – Year of the Wood Rabbit  – Imlek 2562 – Xin Mao Nian

Day/date: Thursday, 3rd February, 2011

Imlek     : 2562 Cia Gwe 1

The year of 2011 or the year of wooden rabbit is called as the year of Xin Mao Nian.

  • Xin is the 8th cycle of Tian Gan (Heavenly Stems), represents the element of metal.
  • Mao is the 4th cycle of Di Zi (Earthly Branches), represents the element of wood, which is often symbolized as rabbit.


Some people say that the year of Xin Mao is the year of Metal Rabbit. They most probably conclude that from reading of Tian Gan and Di Zi separately.  The more profound explanation based on the concept of classical Feng Shui (Hong Sui) is found in Liu Shi Hua Jia (60 Concepts of Combination of Tian Gan & Di Zi). This concept has been used since Xia Dynasty  (2205 BC – 1766 BC). The combination of  Xin with the element of yin metal yang and Mao with the element of yin wood makes wood as the natural element . Accordingly, the year of 2011 is the year of the (pine) Wood Rabbit.

Li  Chun

Day/date: Jumat, 4 Februari 2011.

Imlek     : 2562 Cia Gwe 2

Time      : 11.33 (GMT+7)

Li Chun is the beginning of spring. The first of 24 Jie Qi (the day which indicates parts of the 24 solar terms in Imlek calendar).

Li Chun is used to indicate someone’s shio (Chinese zodiac). Many people think that someone’s shio is based on the Chinese New Year Day. Yet, based on traditional Chinese astrology, the changing of shio is based on the cycle of the sun, that is when it enters the time of Li Chun. Thus, the shio doesn’t change on the celebration day of Yin Li Xin Nian (New Year), but it changes at the beginning of spring.

For example, a child born on the 4th February, 2010 at 11.00 (GMT+7) is a Tiger, even though the New Year is on the 3rd February. However, a child born on the same date after 11.33 (GMT+7) is a Rabbit.

Gong Xi Fa Cai everybody!

Source: Jin De Yuan