Event Details


10/01/2019 - 25/01/2019

Chinese Zodiac Creativity Exhibition seeks to foreground two important aspects of traditional Chinese New Year, namely the Chinese Zodiac and the Lantern Festival, the most lively and festive day of the Spring Festival.

The Chinese Zodiac system is an important cultural tradition related to the Spring Festival, China's most important celebration. It is a form of calendar based on natural observations and symbolic personification of twelve animals, namely the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The origins of the Chinese Zodiac can be traced back to ancient animal worship. According to Qin dynasty bamboo texts unearthed at Shuihudi in Yunmeng County, Hubei Province, and Fangmatan in Tianshui City, Gansu Province, a relatively complete zodiac system was already in existence as early as the Pre-Qin period. Moreover, the earliest record of the Chinese Zodiac can be seen in the world's first poetry collection, the Classic of Poetry.

In ancient times, this simple calendar system used the animal icons to help people remember the year in which they were born, hence the term Zodiac Year. The Chinese Zodiac not only integrates ordinary creatures into the lives of Chinese people, but also endows their daily habits with cultural significance and a kind of divinity. As these animals were respected and worshiped, the complete imagery of the zodiac was formed. In Chinese festival customs, such as bidding farewell to the past year and welcoming a new year, thanking the gods, warding off calamity and preserving peace etc. each zodiac animal bears unique cultural significance and Chinese people regard them as mascots of the Spring Festival.

The Spring Festival is the most significant traditional Chinese celebration, brimming with hope and positive aspirations for the new year. These wishes and expectations are expressed through Spring Festival customs, ceremonies and celebration. According to the sequence of the 12 animal signs of the Zodiac, images of the animal corresponding to each respective year are included in decorations for prosperity and fortune, as with typical seasonal crafts and presents, including New Year gifts, auspicious greeting texts, Spring Festival couplets, flower paper-cutting window stickers, the “fu” (happiness) character, and New Year paintings.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2019 is the Year of the Pig. In ancient times, a tribe with a pig totem made tremendous contributions to the Chinese nation, since then the pig has been one of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Pigs represented wealth and fertility and is often considered a symbol of wealth in Chinese culture. Folk customs often superimpose the imagery of the pig on the personalities of people born in the Year of the Pig, seeing them as straightforward, stable, determined, avaricious, critical, impatient, and so forth. As with the Western horoscope, although there is no scientific basis of such statements, the personalities attributed to the twelve animal zodiac signs reflect folk beliefs, general views and popular gossip.


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