Numerical fest

The Rabbit is the fourth zodiac in the lunar calendar. – Others

TODAY is Day 1 of the Year of the Rabbit.

The Rabbit is the 4th zodiac in the lunar calendar, which is based on the cycles of the moon. The Chinese New Year date falls on the 1st new moon in the lunar calendar.

The celebration traditionally lasts for 15 days, with the 1st day being the most important one.

On the 15th day, a lantern festival is usually held in China to mark the end of the Chinese New Year festival. In Malaysia, the Chap Goh Mei is a popular celebration on that day.

Chap Goh Mei means “the 15th night of Chinese New Year” in Hokkien and is known as the Chinese version of Valentine’s Day. It is said that in the past young unmarried ladies would traditionally throw mandarin oranges inscribed with their names and contact details into rivers or the ocean in search of a boyfriend or husband.

The previous Year of the Rabbit was 2011, which saw around 511,500 baby Metal Rabbits born, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia.

It is estimated that around 25% of the world’s population and over 22% of Malaysians celebrate Chinese New Year annually.

The earliest lunar calendar can be traced back to the 14th century BC in ancient China.

There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, each one with a 12-year cycle.

The reason the Rabbit is the 4th Chinese zodiac sign has been described as the Chinese version of Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare fable.

As it goes, when the Jade Emperor called all the animals to his palace, it was the speedy Rabbit who arrived first. But seeing no other animal there, the foolishly proud Rabbit decided to take a nap by the side of the road first as he thought with his speed he could still beat the other animals in the race to the palace. When he woke up, however, Rabbit saw that Tiger, Ox, and Rat had all arrived before him.

Still, according to China’s news agency Xinhua, in the Chinese culture, the Rabbit is considered the luckiest of the zodiac animals and represents peace and longevity.

If you are a Rabbit, your lucky numbers this year are believed to be 3, 4, 6. Those born in other animal years also have their own lucky numbers.

Numbers have always played a significant role in Chinese culture, and one’s fortunes are traditionally associated with lucky numbers.

The Chinese take lucky numbers and their combinations into consideration when making decisions on important life events such as when buying a house, choosing a wedding date and picking their car’s plate number.

Some of the main lucky numbers are 1, 3, 6, 8, 9 and any of their combinations.

For Chinese New Year, numbers 366, 666, 888 and 1666 are believed to extremely lucky, and are usually the amount of cash put in ang pows – given as a blessing from the elders to the younger generation, with a wish for a smooth journey in life. – Compiled by the Sunday Star Team

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