Some fun facts about the Chinese Zodiac:
Your zodiac sign informs who you do
Everyone has a natural pair of allies
who are your good help and a
secret friend who is your ever
dependable guardian,3 determined
from the moment you were born.
For instance, if you were born in the
year of ox, your allies will be the
snake and rooster with the rat as
your secret friend.4
Your zodiac sign determines your
It is said that someone born in the
year of the Tiger may be self-
sufficient and devoted, whereas
someone born in the year of the
Dog may be faithful and righteous.5
BONUS TRIVIA : The zodiac sequence
was decided by a great race.
Decreed by Emperor Huang Di, the
first twelve animals to complete a
long-distance run and swim over a
rushing river will win the honour of
the calendar years named after
them.6 Watch “Story of the Chinese
Zodiac” to find out how the small
rat came in first and why flying drag-
on only made it fifth.7
2018: The year to buy a puppy?
A c o m p i l a t i o n b y : S t u d e n t W e l f a r e , I n c l u s i o n & I n t e g r a t i o n U n i t , S t u d e n t A f f a i r s O f f i c e
Lunar New Year 12 February 2018
Lunar New Year, Issue 1
The Year of the Dog does not refer to dogs being the lucky animal of the year, so hold on your impulse to bring
a puppy back home! In fact, the animal of the year is decided by the 12-year cycle on the lunar calendar. Each
year is represented by one of 12 animals known as the Chinese Zodiac signs, which are significant in Chinese
traditional culture and astrology.1 Recurring every 12 years, 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
So yes, everyone has a zodiac animal assigned to them based on their birth year. Find yours now!
But you may wonder, so what if I know my Chinese zodiac sign?
1 “10 simple facts for discovering the Chinese zodiac”, China Highlights, last modified January 6, 2017, https://www.chinahighlights.com/
3 “Horoscope allies & friend”, Feng Shui Mall, last modified July 17, 2010, http://www.fengshuimall.com/horoscope-allies-secret-friend.
5 Allison Branscombe, “Chinese zodiac animals”, in All about China: stories, songs, crafts and more for kids (Singapore: Tuttle Publishing,
7 Off the Great Wall. “Story of the Chinese zodiac.” YouTube video, 3:25, 10 August 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Used with permission, Copyright © ChinaHighlights.com. 2
Though many in Singapore have employed strategies to cram activities and house visits to just a couple of days,
the different days of Lunar New Year actually bear different significances. Here’s a quick overview:
Watch out for our SG Bite on 2019 Lunar New Year this time next year,
where you will learn about traditions and taboos!
Some highlights during the 15 days of Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year's Eve
Out with the old,
In with the new!
Families perform a thorough
spring-cleaning at home to prepare
for the festival. On the day of the
eve, families and relatives return
home for reunion dinner.
Dress your best and #ootd!
Be in for a fashion parade on the streets as most
put on new clothes from head to toe, including their
undergarments. You may even spot some traditional
chinese costumes (cheongsam for ladies, tangzhuang
for men) though they are less worn with modernisation
in Singapore. You may instead notice exceptionally red
or bright clothing worn for auspicious meanings.
Donning these new clothes and with a pair of oranges,
visits are made to elders in the family. In return, singles
receive a red packet as a form of blessing.
Firecrackers used to be lit on this day. Though banned
in Singapore for safety concerns,9 you can still
catch the festive lightings at Chinatown
from 27 January 2018 till
16 March 2018.10
visit their family of
Or known as "renri", Chinese in
Singapore toss a special salad
yu sheng while saying auspicious
phrases for good luck,13
"abundance of wealth and
9 “Firecrackers”, Suchitthra Vasu, National Library Board, last modified January 11, 2005, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_749_2005-01-
10 “Chinatown chinese new year celebrations 2018”, Chinatown Festivals Organising Committee, accessed January 17, 2018, http://chinatownfestivals.sg/
11 “Chinese new year ceremonies”, Bonny Tan, National Library Board, accessed January 17, 2018, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/
13 “Yu sheng and lo hei”, National Heritage Board, last modified March 15, 2017, https://roots.sg/learn/stories/lo-hei/story.
15 “Chinese new year ceremonies.”
16 Zhao Yin and Cai Xinzhi, “Traditional chinese festivals”, in Snapshots of Chinese culture (Los Angeles: Bridge21 Publications, 2013), 25-32.
17 “Tang yuan (glutinous rice balls)”, Noob Cook Easy Recipes, last modified January 2, 2013, http://www.noobcook.com/tang-yuan.
Images are taken from Pngtree.com and NTU event stock photos.
Reunion dinner Round 2!
Families gather once more
during the first full moon of the
new year15 and enjoy glutinous
rice dumplings16 (also known as