lanterns-2014This is the Wood Horse Year. Some people asked me why it is Wood Horse year and what does it mean? This  refers to the Chinese Traditional Calendar. The Traditional Calendar is also called Xia Li or Nong Li (Xia Calendar or Farmer’s Calendar).

The Traditional calendar used ten Heavenly Stems and twelve Earthly Branches to record time. The Ten Heavenly Stems consisted of Five Basic Elements. These elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each element has two characters, each represents the nature of yin or yang. The twelve earthly branches are made of the twelve animal signs. Following the law of yin and yang, the ten heavenly stems and the twelve earthly branches formed sixty pairs. Each pair represents one year. 2014 is the Wood Horse year. The year will repeat in 60 years time.

This year the main elements are wood and fire. When the wood meets fire it produces more fire. Therefore, 2014 is a strong fire year. The fire year is very special. It has lot of surprises and magic days:

The Four surprises: Two springs (两个立春Li Chung). The first one is on the 4th Feb 2014, the second one is on the 4th Feb 2015. The Chinese New Year for 2015 is on the 18th Feb 2015. Based on the traditional Chinese culture, this year is very favourable for marriage;

Leap September, this is only leap September in this century, the next one will be in 2109;

The Chinese Lantern Festival is on the same day as the Western Valentines Day on the 14 Feb 2014. The Lantern Festival (圆宵节) is the 15th day of the Chinese New Year. It is the full moon day, and symbolises harmony, fulfillment and positive beginnings. It is a great day to celebrate love. These two days will meet again in 2033.

The horse year will have 384 days, 29 days more than the previous year.

2014 the horse year has five Magic Fridays: Friday on 4/4/2014 , Friday on 6/6/2014, Friday on 8/8/2014, Friday on 10/10/2014; Friday on 12/12/2014. These days are good for some major events.