Chinese New Year – The Year of the Rabbit - Naturally Sheepskins

Chinese New Year – The Year of the Rabbit

Chinese New Year – The Year of the Rabbit

We’re about to hop, hop, hop into another Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year – and this year, it’s the Year of the Rabbit! Chinese New Year usually begins in late January or early February. This year, it commences on Sunday 22nd January so it’s really not far away. In China, it is known as ‘Spring Festival’ and lasts for the first fifteen days of the new year. Because other countries around the world also celebrate Chinese New Year, it has another name - Lunar New Year.


Like Easter, the dates of the new year are calculated by the phases of the moon. In contrast, the Georgian calendar is a ‘solar calendar’ and based on Earth’s movement around the sun. Because of this, the start date of the Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year is changeable with each passing year. As well as this, the Chinese New Year follows a ‘zodiac cycle’ – this is a repeating twelve-year cycle and each year is symbolised by a sign or an animal. The Rabbit is one of twelve animals represented in the 12-year cycle.

The history of ‘The legend of the twelve animals’ dates back thousands of years and several different versions of the story exist. Popular stories centre round the main character being Buddha or Jade Emperor. In the story about Buddha, legend has it that he called out to all the animals on Earth and asked them to run towards him. He wanted them to race against each other. It is believed that only twelve animals answered the call of Buddha. In an effort to reward the animals for their loyalty and to thank them for entering the race, Buddha gave each of them their own year in the Chinese zodiac cycle. Of course, the humble Rabbit was one!

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are considered to possess particular personality traits too. In general, they are said to be skilful, gentle, patient, kind and loyal. They also choose to avoid arguments and therefore sometimes may not always be forthcoming when something is wrong. This can sometimes be their downfall. Popular fields of work for people born in the Year of the Rabbit are:

  • Marketing – being social and creative
  • Graphic Design – show-casing their love of art
  • Publishing/Editing – finding pleasure in literature
  • Teaching – possessing excellent planning skills
  • Architecture/Law – having great observation skills and an eye for detail

Another feature of zodiac cycles is ‘horoscopes’ – these are predictions about the future of a person based on the positions of the stars when they were born. For many people all over the world, what their horoscope says is essential for how they live their life. In the year of 2023, it is predicted that those people born in the Year of The Rabbit are going to experience positive changes in their lives. They should apparently pay particular attention to their careers because if they work extra hard, they could really achieve great things. Rabbits – sounds like you’ll be rejoicing this year!

You were born in the Year of the Rabbit if you were born in: 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 or 2023. This year, the Year of the Rabbit begins on Sunday 22nd January 2023 and lasts until Friday February 9th 2024. After this, the Year of the Dragon will begin the following day on Saturday 10th February 2024. Eleven long years will pass until it is the Year of the Rabbit again. This will next begin on Thursday 8th February 2035.

Perhaps you’re planning a Chinese New Year dinner party? Traditionally, ingredients such as duck, fish, shrimp, mushrooms and other vegetables are present in big feasts. Food is often served on octagonal plates because the octagon has eight sides and ‘8’ is considered to be a lucky number.

Are you thinking about tablescaping ideas? Obviously, anything rabbit-themed would be really useful. You can equally save anything you buy for Easter too as bunnies are obviously linked to this time of year as well (an absolute double win!). According to Chinese tradition, red, pink and orange are all lucky colours. The colour black is considered to be very unlucky so try to steer away from this. Red flowers and red serving mats would look great against a plain, white table cloth. Don’t forget your chopsticks too!

In China, on New Year’s Eve (so 21.01.2023 this year), children and unmarried young adults receive red envelopes with money inside. These envelopes are decorated with gold to symbolise wishes for prosperity. So maybe add in a little table favour for each of your guests. This could be a red and gold envelope with a chocolate coin inside to symbolise the gift of money that Chinese people give their family and friends on New Year’s Eve. Red lanterns and dragons are also representative of the Spring Festival – why not string up some lantern lights to really give your dining room a warm glow.

Finally, don’t forget our beautiful, sheepskin rugs look amazing tossed over a dining chair or draped over a dining bench. Offering comfort, style and a texture that just begs to be touched, your guests will be very happy! See link below for our rugs…and Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! Wishing you all good fortune!


Back to blog