As we enter the year of the rooster with loads of clean air, we reminisce about the animals of the zodiac that have passed in recent years. My family of one snake (daughter), one tiger (me), and an ox (husband) have not lived in Beijing that long but already we are housing the start of a zoo! I did not even read the tales for these zodiac animals, but it looks like each person in our family of three matches perfectly with their respective zodiac roles. My husband (Ox) is the hardest working in our family and works 15 hour days. Our daughter is a proud snake very smart and fast. And I am the tiger of the family, never going down without a fight.
2016 was the year of the monkey, and according to the Chinese zodiac it was a lucky year for child bearing. Our colleague Andy, who turned 24 last year (again) explains what it feels like to be a monkey.
2015 was the year of the sheep, and Sally ventured to Bangkok to ring in the year of the sheep in style.
2014 was the year of the horse and during that time we all learned that one will never be bored during during the spring festival as there are always silly games to play.
2013 was the year of the snake and the most challenging year of my life so far (the year my daughter was born). Legend has it that if there is a snake in the house the family will never starve. That has been true so far in our family.
2012 was the year of the dragon, the only virtual animal among the 12 Chinese zodiacs. The dragon is a combination of nine animals, find out which ones here.
Embracing the legends and festivities of the Spring Festival is just one step in better understanding Chinese culture. If you’re returning home and spending time with the family, find out more about some Chinese family traditions here.
Pauline van Hasselt has been working for beijingkids since October 2016. Born in Wassenaar, The Netherlands, she moved with her husband and her 3 year-old daughter to Beijing in June of 2016. Prior she lived in the Netherlands, Belgium, Paraguay, Texas, and London, studying and working as a chef. Pauline enjoys biking around Beijing, finding markets and new restaurants, reading crime and fantasy books in bed, and most importantly, turning her house into a home for her family.