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THE CHINESE NEW YEAR - CULTURAL IMAGES

V. Ryan 2005 - 2009

 

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The Chinese New Year begins in late January or early February each year. Festivals celebrating this event last fifteen days, new moon to full moon. Each year is represented by an animal, based on a 12 year cycle. 2004 was represented by the monkey and 2005 the rooster. Not surprisingly, the Chinese year is of great importance to Chinese people and often a persons age will be described as the animal sign they were born under. This makes it possible to work out the age of the person concerned. The drawings of the animals (shown ) below are in a particular Chinese style. Just as important is the fact that each animal is given certain human characteristics. Both image and colour is very powerful in all cultures, especially China.

   

 

   

Intelligent and self-confident.
A natural leader.
Inspires others


Compatible Partner
Rooster or snake

 

Aggressive, candid and sensitive.
Success awaits.


Compatible Partner
Horse or Dog

 

Luckiest of all signs.
Talented and articulate.
Affectionate but shy.

Compatible Partner
Sheep or Boar

         
   

 

   

Courageous and diligent
Materialistic and lucky in life.
 


Compatible Partner
Rabbit or Sheep
 

 

Self assured, bright and successful.
Quick tempered and yet attractive.

 

 


Compatible Partner
Rat or Monkey
 

 

Bright, sociable and extremely ambitious.
An opportunists
Achieves targets.

 


Compatible Partner
Dragon or Monkey
 

         
 
   

Talented, hard working and independent.


Compatible Partner
Tiger or Dog

 

Loyal, responsible, deep sense of justice.
Honest and very generous.

Compatible Partner
Tiger or Horse

 

Charming, wise and a deep thinker.
Fortunate in wealth

Compatible Partner
Ox or Rooster

         

 

   

Outgoing, intelligent and hard working.
Can be selfish and egotistic

Compatible Partner
Snake or Ox

 

Clever and innovative.
Fast earner and good memory.


Compatible Partner

Dragon or Rat

 

Artistic, sensitive and elegant.
Pessimistic and always lucky.
 

 

Compatible Partner
Boar or Rabbit

         

There are several stories behind the development of the 12 year cycle of animal years. It is said that Budda challenged the animals to race each other and this established the order of the years. Another story suggests that Budda invited all the animals in the world to bid him farewell when he was leaving earth. The only animals that did this are the ones each year is named after.

 

 

 

QUESTIONS:
1. Look at the Chinese animal images and read their human characteristics. Which animal / characteristics apply to you. ?

 
 
2. Why does the animal you selected and its characteristics apply to you ?
 
 
 
 
 
 

3. Draw two animals not representing the Chinese New Year. Draw them in the spaces below, in a Chinese style. Underneath each, write the human characteristics that you consider each animal should possess. (suggestion - use the colours/ colour schemes seen in the examples).

 
 
         

ANIMAL :__________________

 

ANIMAL :__________________

     
 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

     

CHARACTERISTICS

 

CHARACTERISTICS

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
   

4. A local Chinese Restaurant has approached you to design a calendar representing the Chinese New Year. This will be given to people visiting the restaurant as a free gift at Christmas / New Year.

The calendar must fit on one A3 sheet of paper/ card.

It must have all the animals representing the Chinese New Year.

It must be drawn in a Chinese style, including colours / colour scheme.

   
 
   

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