Happy New Year! (The Chinese one that is!)
Happy Chinese New Year!
Sunday saw in the beginning of China’s most important family holiday – the Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival as it’s also known as. And if you heard a loud cacophony of noise in the night sky that evening, it would have been Chinese people letting off a multitude of fireworks (or a worrisome natural occurrence which we’d like to think is pretty unlikely). The legend goes that many years ago a wise village elder advised the Chinese people to scare away a bloodthirsty monster from their defenceless villages with loud noises and bangs like the ones emitted from fireworks. It worked, and so Chinese people have celebrated like this for hundreds of years.
The festival lasts for 15 days culminating with the Lantern Festival, when thousands of Chinese paper lanterns are lit and let off into the night. Yes we know, with only 1 day celebrating the Gregorian New Year’s – it seems some of us have missed out haven’t we?
And there’s more, although on a day-to-day basis China follows the same calendar that we do, the traditional Chinese calendar is still used to mark holidays such as the New Year and Full Moon festival. Each year of the traditional calendar is associated with one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. So over the next few days over 1 billion people in China and millions of Chinese people across the globe will now be celebrating the new dawn of the year of the Snake.
With books never far from our minds here at World of Books, we got to thinking about these 12 animals and came up with some reading suggestions based on the different personality traits each animal exhibits. Let’s see what you think…
- Rat 鼠 (子) (Anyone born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008) – These people are usually very smart with a lively imagination. WOB suggests: Crime novels. See Agatha Christie, Susan Hill or Kingsley Amis.
- Ox 牛 (丑) (Anyone born in 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009) – These people are usually obstinate but genuinely truthful. WOB suggests: Biographies. Perhaps try a comedian such as Michael McIntyre or Jonathan Ross.
- Tiger 虎 (寅) (Anyone born in 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010) –These people are usually courageous and self-reliant WOB suggests: Action novels. See Bernard Cornwell or Lee Child.
- Rabbit 兔 or 兎 (卯) (Anyone born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011) – These people are usually considerate and fashionable. WOB suggests: Romance. Try Katie Fforde, Susan Lewis, or Nora Robert.
- Dragon 龍 / 龙 (辰) (Anyone born in 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012) – These people are usually innovative and passionate. WOB suggests: Business and Management titles – become an entrepreneur and check out what WOB has to offer.
- Snake 蛇 (巳) (Anyone born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013) – These people are usually proud and cunning. WOB suggests: Classic Fiction. Be proud of the classics, read Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or Leo Tolstoy.
- Horse 馬 / 马 (午) (Anyone born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002) – These people are usually sophisticated and joyful. WOB suggests: Spread your joy with Cookery Books. Check out our Ainsley Harriott titles and Jamie Oliver.
- Goat 羊 (未) (Anyone born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003) – These people are usually smart and artistic. WOB suggests: Art Books. Whether that is the practise of art, or the history of it, have a look to see what takes your fancy.
- Monkey 猴 (申) (Anyone born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004) – These people are usually humorous and witty. WOB suggests: the genre of humour. See what WOB has in store today.
- Rooster 雞 / 鸡 (酉) (Anyone born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005) – These people are usually blunt and motivated. WOB suggests: Self-help guides. Ranging from career choices to general positivity, they’re definitely worth a read.
- Dog 狗 / 犬 (戌) (Anyone born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006) – These people are usually responsible and compassionate. WOB suggests: Memoirs. The writing of Nigel Slater is just one moving example of many.
- Pig 豬 / 猪 (亥) (Anyone born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007) – These people are usually willing and gullible. WOB suggests: TV, Film and Radio titles. Let your imagination take over – there will be something for everyone to enjoy and reminisce over in this genre.