So many of you will be participating in the mushy self indulgence day for chocolates, the color red, and excuses for intimates after a certain amount of money and effort is spent. Good for you if you are, don't be like my room mate. He hates people in love. But if you find yourself still following on, well as the title says: Happy Chinese New Year! But it falls in the same day as Valentines day.. for the most part.Maybe you can get into something else to distract you from all that commercial stuff. The red stays though. Because the Chinese New Year stems from the Chinese tradition, who love their red- look at that take away box again, go ahead; ever seen it in blue?

First essential bit is the Chinese New Year might not be politically correct, so some consider as the Lunar New Year. I'm Asian and I totally go for Chinese New Year. I say it's our thing and I don't mind it being called our thing. But yes, the Lunar New Year, unlike the normal New Year does not fall on one day and always first of the year. No we Asians are far more complicated than that (dude we came up with the abacus, chopsticks, and seaweed useage.. of course not!) so first difference is that it doesn't have an exact day and the second is that it does not just last one day. Oh yeah, we Asians can party.

There is such a range of historical information to stem where it comes from and so on and so forth. But I am going to just give you the essentials, or as far as I think as relevant. You have to understand, people can probably write an encyclopedic amount on this stuff, so let's not get caught up with too many details because if you didn't live with this stuff or you aren't taking Asian Studies as a major, this is something to keep you well rounded and not sound like a dorky cited book. The difference in length and days it may fall on depend on the Asian native, for example in China (or Pol. Correct version: Mainland China) the celebration can last for a week with two days of eve celebration, however Indonesia never lets it fall on Sunday and it must be moved the next day; get the drift? But it won't usually fall in the same day depending on the Gregorian Calendar and government policies. (*Note: it doesn't range all year, usually between January 20 - February 21.)

Why so many days you ask? Well like when you think of Mulan, the Asian culture has a lot of myths, superstitions, and culture. It's a whole package. There's a whole procession and each day that could happen. One day you visit families, on the other day you *can NOT* visit families, then you throw firecrackers, then another would be exchanging gifts, and another there's a cool huge party for the Jade Emperor. Cool so far? Still with me?

There's a few ideas of the new year beginning for the Chinese but the most popular idea is said that there was an annoying beast that visited villages ever so often to eat the livestock, crops, and their babies. So to ask him to leave them alone, villagers left food by their door entrance once a year hoping he'd piss off. But one day they noticed he was scared of by a little kid in red and from there they decorated the place in red with scrolls and lanterns and calligraphy like you see in the party.

Icons you'll have to be familiar with if you came across the party will be plenty but repetitive for the most part. Yes the dragon. The paper-mached conga line resembles the dragon-- or lion-- that will evict the evil spirits away. Chinese lanterns, calligraphy, and knots- makes it look like Chinese restaurants all threw up their decos all over the street! And yup some of the fortune Gods. Lastly, GOLD! The color will be celebrated along with red. But gold is the bling and sign of that promised wealth to look forward to for the year.

Details I have purposely didn't touch on as things to consider in celebration:

Ok the fun part. The signs!

This year is the Tiger. And it sounds very rockstar and sexy but some will fall as Pigs and Snakes- don't take it personally. But it is calculated within every 12 years. There are 12 in total, you just have to calculate your date of birth by adding 12 years to fit your year; ie: I am 1986 + 12 + 12 = 2010 - Tiger. Some of the suggested details by the way are out of general and constant suggestion.. in the past they are characteristics that always seem to suggest that about the zodiac.

2008 Rat - Unlike what you expect, rats are usually associated with honesty. Hard working and a survival can be seen with what we think of a rat. But the complication falls on whether the person is born during the summer or winter and its survival sense is either more aggressive or well natured depending on the season's cropping. BEST matches: Rat + Dragon.

2009 Ox - Hard workers. That's an instant hit, and they are such workaholics they are a snob to anyone who isn't working as hard. This goes for family life; constantly compassionate to provide for their loved ones. Winter and summer plays into attitude though; for example ones that were born in the winter feel like they are entitle to comfort (like oxen rest a lot during winter time..). BEST matches: Snake + Rooster

2010 Tiger - Oh yeah! When you say tigers, everybody wants to be one. Just like that they are usually a model example of things. The are natural leaders but can go off and survive on their own (I swear I'm not making this up). Because tigers are very passionate, it is hard to see moderation on big issues. BEST matches: Horse + Dog

2011 Rabbit - The hippie. Creative and loveable, they don't believe in violence or violent things in general like war and revolutions. But they are easy to cry and they can easily feel bad for people. According to suggestions, sales people have a 9/10 chance to get their products sold to them. Ha! Best matches: Dragon + Sheep + Pig

2012 Dragon - Temper tantrums, dominance, and ambitious are the things that come up for the most part on people's idea for a person born on the year of the dragon. Apparently, usually the center of drama. Because of the touch of magic associated with the dragon, there is a rollercoaster of highs and lows - getting involved in one will never be easy. BEST matches: Rabbit + Pig

2013 Snake - The sin seducer we are usually familiar with, they don't hide it and they rock it. They are born thinkers and very charismatic- that why we say lawyers are snakes? But snakes are suggested to be great liars- white ones and bad ones. Beauty gets tied to snakes a lot, for example a Japanese compliment to a woman somehow translates: you're a real snake! Which doesn't mean what you think it means at all. BEST matches: Rabbit + Ram + Dog

2014 Horse - Down to earth, though very intelligent they don't realize their potential because they are pretty humble for the most part. Even though they are usually shy, horses have a bad harvest of Fire Horses that might not have the shy limiting qualities but they have a more aggressive and selfish streak than a normal horse, these years were said to 1846, 1906, 1966, 2026. BEST matches: Dog + Tiger

2015 Sheep - .. or Goat. Ironically enough, they like being part of a group. They are very sociable and popularly believe that they usually land on their feet given situations. Some people say they are lazy and indecisive, but they make up for it for their artistic and altruistic nature. BEST match: Pig (super great) + Dog + Horse

2016 Monkey - Practical jokers is a part monkeys remind us of a lot. People say, give them a boring book and they will make into a musical. They are great at problem solving even though people think they are confused for the most part. Though he's lovable the monkey has a lot of distrust on people and he hides it by joking plenty and smiling a lot. Woah! BEST matches: Monkey + Pig

2017 Rooster - Blunt buggers. They are perceptive but they don't mind sharing their opinions outright. Like what you would suspect, roosters love the ladies (or the opposite for the lady) and are bored with the companionship of their similar sexes. Well whatever opposite applies should be applied. You know what I mean though? BEST matches: Snake + Ox

2018 Dog - A Western ideal as man's best friend. Dogs are perfect shoulders to cry on, they are understanding and respectful .. but get too deeply involved with other people's lives. The dog's biggest fear is one that becomes a reality. Though they are usually faithful and honest they expect their closest friends to hold them to the highest esteem. The ideal profession requires the captaincy like being a Union Leader or priest.. which is wicked cool. BEST matches: Horse + Tiger

2019 Pig - Funny lil thing about pigs that is shared with zodiac suggestion is that they are not much believers for savings. They find great deals so they can spend more, nevertheless spend more. They love the sense comfort and materialistic things that sometimes even when people really admire the pigs- they find them snobbish when it comes to life qualities. But the want to enjoy it, especially with knowledge, food, culture, etc. BEST matches: Sheep + Pig + Rabbit

Phew! I hope you are not bored and has enjoyed browsing through. I am officially spent! But again, if Valentines is not your thing, you can open yourself up to other things. The cool part is that a lot of myths have washed away and do not get practiced as much because of consideration towards paganism has slowed down. When it is not, it's considered a religious event. Fantastic thing about this fantastic fiasco is that it still accepts superstition and myths into play for an excuse to celebrate and be with family.