Chinese Lunar New Year Dates for 2023 - Year of the Water Rabbit

春节 2023 / Spring Festival celebrations are coming soon next month in January 2023. The traditional Chinese Lunar New Year Spring Festival has 15 days of celebration. In multiracial and multicultural Singapore, it is allocated 2 days of public holidays. On mainland China, it is an important homecoming event as most people head back to their hometown (家乡)from working in the big main cities or overseas.

The first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year falls on 22 January 2023, which is a Sunday and so the following weekday is allocated a public holiday. Monday itself is also a public holiday and so Tuesday is allocated a public holiday, making it a long holiday weekend of 4 days here in Singapore.  

The eve of Chinese New Year is in itself an eventful day, as it is the final day of "Spring Cleaning", and the final touches are made to prepare the home and office premises to welcome the new year. The dinner on the eve of the new year has special cultural significance in the Chinese festive calendar as it is called the "Reunion Dinner", where once a year all family members are gathered to have a sumptous meal together. 

In Chinese tradition, words withe auspicious meanings are used during this festive period and so many items are embellished with auspicious names in well-wishes. For example, as it is the year of the Rabbit, the Rabbit is embellished with the word "Gold" and so it is the year of the Gold Rabbit. The Jade Rabbit is another cultural symbol with its own mythology story. It is said to reside on the moon making immortality elixirs, and keeps company with Chang-Er who flew to the moon. You will find both Gold Rabbit and Jade Rabbit being used for the coming Chinese Lunar New Year. 

玉兔呈祥
金兔报喜

Although "Gold" is one of the elements of the Five Elements Theory (representing Metal), the word Gold when used for auspicious meanings refers to money and wealth, luxury, grandeur, etc. The actual element accompanying the year of the Rabbit is Water. It is the year of Gui Mao or Water (Yin) Rabbit. The colour represented by Water in the Five Elements Theory is black. Black, although a convenient colour to wear for clothing, is not considered an auspicious colour culturally and so it is used minimally. 

水 (water),木 (wood)

In the 60 Jia Zi sequence used in the Chinese luni-solar calendar, the combination of Gui Mao / Yin Water Rabbit is 40th pair or 60 pairs starting with Jia Zi / Yang Wood Rat. 

Rabbit itself contains the element of Yin Wood. The two elements for the year are Water and Wood.

Tiger Tail Rabbit Head 兔头虎尾

Solar Term for the beginning of the Water Rabbit year is on 4th of February 2023. Up until 4th of February, it is still the Water Tiger year as the changeover date is the Solar Term of Spring Begins / Li Chun (立春). For those born between the Lunar New Year and Spring Begins / Li Chun, they are said to be "Tiger Tail Rabbit Head". In my consultations for Ba Zi Birth Charts, we use the Spring Begins Solar Term for the year pillar. 




Solar Terms for the month of Ren Zi / (Yang) Water Rat / November in the year of Ren Yin / (Yang) Water Tiger 2022.

7th of December, Wednesday is the changeover day, from Hai / Pig month to the month of Zi / Rat. In the Chinese luni-solar calendar, there are 2 months to go before the next year of Gui Mao / (Yin) Water Rat starts. In the international calendar, it is the last month for the year 2022. The social mood of people is focussed on the festive year end period celebrating Christmas Day and New Years Day. 

In 2022 Singapore went from COVID-related pandemic lockdown restrictions to the country fully opening up. Quite a change in circumstances. Singapore citizens are free to travel abroad again, depending on their destination countries' restriction. Air fares for the Christmas festive period in late December and for the Chinese Lunar New Year period in January are already at their highs. 

An important date in the Chinese festive calendar is Winter Solstice or Dōng Zhì that falls on 22 December 2022. Besides being the mid-month Solar Term marker, it also marks a Yin/Yang transition, as Yin reaches its maximum, Yang is born. 



Solar Terms for the month of Xin Hai / Metal Pig (November ) in the year of Ren Yin / Water Tiger (2022)

Xin Hai month starts: 7th of November, 2022 from 18:45 hours
Mid Point of the month: 22nd of November, 2022 from 16:20 hours

Elements of the Metal Pig month: Metal, Water, Wood
Elements of the Water Tiger year: Water, Wood, Earth, Fire



Solar Terms for the month of Geng Xu Metal Dog (October) in the year of Ren Yin Water Tiger (2022).

When looking at the 24 Solar Terms of the Chinese calendar, it will be helpful if you distinguish between the Five Elements Qi of the Solar Terms in the calendar, and the Qi of the Five Elements of actual physical nature in real life. It is only at the geographical location around the Northern latitude marker of the Tropic of Cancer that we see a close sychronicity between the calendar and the weather. 

Elsewhere on the earth globe, like at the Equator where Singapore is located, we only experience a tropical weather system with just 2 types of seasons - "Hot" and "Hot and Wet", locally influenced by tropical monsoons. In contrast, the temperate countries experience the 4 seasons. 

The Five Elements Theory is applied to the Chinese calendar system and also to nature, and it is important to not mix up the two and infer that both have to, or will be the same. 

Metal Dog month starts: 8th of October, 2022 from 15:22 hours
Mid Point of the month: 23rd of October, 2022 from 18:35 hours

Elements of the Metal Dog month: Metal, Earth, Fire
Elements of the Water Tiger year: Water, Wood, Earth, Fire





Solar Terms for the month of Ji You Earth Rooster in the year of Water Tiger Ren Yin 2022



The second Autumn month in the Chinese luni-solar calendar starts of 7th of September at 23:32 hours. It is the month of Ji You Earth Rooster. The months rotate on a Yin - Yang - Yin - Yang basis, and this month is a Yin month, with the elements of Earth and Metal only. 

Autumn Equinox will occur on 23rd of September. 

The Chinese Festival for this month is the Mid Autumn Festival that falls on 10th of September. It is also known as the Chinese Lantern Festival and the Mooncake Festival, where as their names imply, there will be lanterns and Chinese mooncakes. 

 



Solar Terms for the month of Wu Shen / Earth Monkey (August) in the year of Ren Yin / Water Tiger 2022



The calendar "Autumn" season started on the 7th of August, 2022 at 20:28 hours. The solar term to mark the beginning of the month is "Autumn Begins" or Li Qiu. 

In this particular month of the Chinese Luni-solar calendar, there are clashes of elements on both the Tian Gan (Heavenly Stems) and Di Zi (Earthly Branches) levels, between the month and the year:

Year Heavenly Stem / Tian Gan : Water
Month Heavenly Stem / Tian Gan : Earth

Water X Earth (clashing relationship)

Year Earthly Branch / Di Zi : Tiger / Yin
Month Earthly Branch / Di Zi : Monkey / Shen

Tiger x Monkey (clashing relationship)


Solar Terms for the month of July 2022, month of Ding Wei Fire Goat in the year of Ren Yin Water Tiger

Note: Apologies for the late posting of this month's Solar Terms. I left for New Zealand in June with a last minute urgent travel for personal matters. Was away for 6 weeks.

Solar Terms for July 2022


Solar Terms for the month of May 2022 - Yi Shi / Wood Snake month in the year of Ren Yin / Water Tiger



This evening the solar term of Spring Begins Li Xia starts the summer months off in the Chinese luni-solar calendar. The sexagenary pair for the month is rotated to Yi Si or Yin Wood Snake. 

In Singapore, Vesak Day is celebrated on the 15th of May, and is also the 15th day full moon of the 4th lunar month.