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The Rooster is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Rooster is represented by the Earthly Branch character 酉. The name is also translated into English as Cock or Chicken. Rooster is the only bird included in the Chinese zodiac. However, the Chinese term is more generic, as it applies to barnyard fowl of either sex.
Chinese New Year's Day is the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar — Saturday, January 28th in 2017.
The date is different each year on the Gregorian (internationally-used) calendar, but is always between January 21th and February 20th.
According to tales and legends, the beginning of the Chinese New Year started with a mythical beast called the Nian. Nian would eat villagers, especially children. One year, all the villagers decided to go hide from the beast. An old man appeared before the villagers went into hiding and said that he's going to stay the night, and decided to get revenge on the Nian. All the villagers thought he was insane. The old man put red papers up and set off firecrackers. The day after, the villagers came back to their town to see that nothing was destroyed. They assumed that the old man was a deity who came to save them. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red and loud noises. When the New Year was about to come, the villagers would wear red clothes, hang red lanterns, and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu's mount.
Chinese New Year 2017 begins a year of the Rooster. It's considered a bad year for "Roosters": people born in a Rooster year.
See How to Avoid Bad Luck in 2017 If You're a Rooster.
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