Sunday February 10th is the date of the Chinese New Year in 2013. The exact date on which the new year begins varies from year to year and can occur between the middle of January and the middle of February. The Oriental year is based on the cycle of the moon. The Chinese calculate the beginning of their year according to the second New Moon following the Winter Solstice.

Chinese astrology uses twelve animals to represent the nature and character of those born in each year. They are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The year that is just ending was the year of the Dragon.

This new year will be the Year of the Snake. The Snake is the sign of wisdom. People born in the year of the snake are thought to be charismatic and charming and are not easily ignored. They are wise and shrewd in business. They are clever, serious types with an appreciation for the arts and music.

The New Year is an important date in the Chinese calendar involving much celebration. London’s Chinese New Year Celebrations are the largest outside of Asia.