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What to expect in 2023

Hop to it. One thing’s for certain, 2023 will be jumpin’ jumpin’.

The Lunar New Year arrives Sunday, January 22, 2023, bringing us into the Year of the Rabbit, specifically the Water Rabbit. How will the wet bunny bode?

The Chinese calendar has a six decade cycle defined by 12 earthly animal totems and the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. 

As in Western astrology, there are 12 signs within the Chinese zodiac, each represented by a different animal: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig, and each ruling a different set of years. The Chinese zodiac is known as shengxiao, which translates to “born resembling,” based on the belief that people inherit the traits of the animal whose sign they fall under.

Read more about the history of the Chinese zodiac and the traits associated with each sign, here. If you’re in the market for lunar new year gifts, check out our themed shopping guide here.

When is the 2023 Chinese New Year?

People perform a fire dragon dance under a shower of sparks from molten iron during the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.
Reuters

Unlike the fixed Gregorian calendar that blithely decrees Jan. 1 as the opening day of each new year, the Chinese Lunar New Year follows the moon’s phases and the new year coincides with a new moon. In China, the celebration of the Lunar New Year lasts 15 days, from the new moon to the full, culminating in the Lantern Festival.The Year of the Rabbit will end on February 9, 2024 and it will be followed, or swallowed by the Year of the Dragon which beings on February 10, 2024.

Lunar New Year celebrations

Celebrated by millions around the world, the Lunar New Year is an absolute banger, folks. The aesthetic emphasis is on the color red, which is believed to bring fortune and ward off bad spirits, and children are traditionally gifted crimson envelopes with money as a sign of good luck and the expectation of abundance. Another way the baddies are kept at bay is by setting off fireworks and leaving lights on throughout the night.

Year of the Rabbit

Customers look at a giant rabbit-shaped decoration made of white roses and lilies for the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival at a shopping mall in Nanjing. The Lunar New Year begins on February 3 and marks the start of the Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese zodiac.
Customers look at a giant rabbit-shaped decoration made of white roses and lilies for the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival at a shopping mall in Nanjing. The Lunar New Year begins on February 3 and marks the start of the Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese zodiac.
REUTERS

On a physiological and spiritual level, the rabbit is a radical departure from last year’s tiger. The striped big cat is kind of a jock, focused on exerting vitality and making gains at all costs. Lots of ‘me’ yang energy that encourages growth but not necessarily serenity or satisfaction. By contrast, the rabbit is considered the most tender animal in the zodiac (stew meat reference not intended). The energy of the bunny is yin, receptive rather than assertive, weed not speed if you will.

Legend holds that the rabbit was the familiar of the moon goddess Chang’e and the creature and the year it governs are imbued with a noble knowing and a certain serenity. The soft approach of the regal rabbit encourages us to move through the world with quiet confidence, low key cunning and the knowledge that kindness is not weakness but rather benevolent strategy.

The Rabbit: 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Chinese zodiac sign for year of the rabbit with illustrated rabbit and Chinese character for rabbit
Rabbit’s would do well to wear red and persevere this year.
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

It’s always dicey when your Ben Ming Nian rolls around AKA your zodiac year returns. Chinese tradition holds that it will be an unstable year for bunnies but rest assured there are key ways to prevent calamity and invite success. Primary among these is to wear a talisman of your zodiac animal and the color red as often as possible. That good juju is multiplied if the token or item is given to you by a close friend or family member as the belief is their good luck will transfer. Ready your rouge and your rabbit’s feet my babies, keep an eye on your fiber and practice persistence.

The Dragon: 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

Chinese zodiac sign for year of the dragon with illustrated dragon and Chinese character for dragon
Dragons must handle their blessings graciously this year.
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

The odds are in your favor dragons and the future is so bright you’ll want to breath fire. Your challenge is to welcome the good will and glad tidings coming your way but to receive these gifts graciously with an eye on the long game. It’s a great time to commit to a partner or practice but it’s important to avoid impulse purchases and reckless behaviors. Shoot your shot but don’t blow your wad, dig?

The Snake: 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025 

Chinese zodiac sign for year of the snake with illustrated snake and Chinese characters for snake
Trust don’t rush your own process of becoming this year.
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

Just as the shedding of a skin cannot be rushed, all processes of creation and change will require patience this year my snake babies. Take your time, take deep breaths and when your grace is tested think about who you want to be and how you’d like to be remembered. You’re well on your way to your next great incarnation.

The Horse: 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026 

Chinese zodiac sign for year of the horse with illustrated horse and Chinese character for horse
Bridles off and freedom reigns for horses.
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

Trot your fine self right into the new year as much of what has held you back or kept you bridled will finally fall away leaving you free and free to expand into new pastures of success. You might not strike it rich, but luck is on your side when it comes to switching gears and starting over.

The Goat: 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027 

Chinese zodiac sign for year of the goat with illustrated goat and Chinese character for goat
Goats eat garbage but you don’t have to!
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

Your body is your greatest vehicle for success and how you treat it will have serious influence on the way your year plays out. Treat it like a ticking temple, keep it hydrated, sun kissed, protein rich and generally pure? Skies the limit. Treat it like a Dollar Store dumpster and you might not necessarily fail, but you will fall far behind.

The Monkey: 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028 

Chinese zodiac sign for year of the monkey with illustrated chimp and Chinese character for monkey
Remember that you are divinely deserving this year, monkeys.
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

The only true barrier for you this year my simian friends is your own set of limiting self-beliefs. You are capable, you are captivating and the world waits for you to get on board with the idea that you deserve, neigh are divinely positioned to receive, more than you ever thought possible.

The Rooster: 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Chinese zodiac sign for year of the rooster with an illustrated rooster and the Chinese character for rooster
Small victories can be the cause of serious celebration for rooster folk.
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

Celebration and contemplation are the primary themes for you in the months ahead, roosters. It’s in your nature to want to take charge and charge ahead but this year you are called to take stock and take your time. Celebrate your small victories and the win that is taking a beat before action and a pause before speaking.

The Dog: 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

Chinese zodiac sign for year of the dog with an illustrated dog and the Chinese character for dog.
The canine crew should run towards the unknown this year.
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

Dogs are naturally loyal but have you been devoting yourself to habits and relationships that are comfortable but not conducive to your highest self? This is the year to shake loose and lean into experimentation. You don’t have to have all of the answers or carry all of the burden. Entertain unexpected perspectives, go somewhere you’ve never been and remember that risk is a great way to get the heart rate up.

The Pig: 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Chinese zodiac sign for year of the pig with an illustrated pig and the character for pig
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

If you’ll excuse the reference, they don’t call it pig headed for nothing my porcine peeps. I say this with love and with the message that this year in particular, what you resist could very well be bearing your greatest reward. Be open to the possibility that you can and will be proved wrong.

The Rat: 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032

It's time to take control for the rat population.
It’s a lucky year for rat folk.
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

It’s a fertile year for the people of the rat with myriad opportunities for developing wealth, health, relationships and even new buds on the family tree if that’s in line with your wanting. Progress is promised if you are clear about what you want to conjure, spend sparingly and love intentionally.

The Ox: 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033 

Chinese zodiac sign for the year of the ox featuring a cartoon ox
Oxen should proceed with care and caution in the new year.
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

Caution is the key word for the ox lot this year. Whether you are forging new bonds, developing new skills or working on your mental and physical health do so with utmost care and curation as the seeds you sow and ties you bind this year will play a major part in the future you are building towards. Keep it 100.

The Tiger: 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034

Chinese zodiac sign for year of the tiger with illustrated tiger and the Chinese character for tiger
Tigers are in need of a work/life balance that prioritizes abundance and abundant rest.
Getty Images/PhotoAlto

On the heels (or tail) of your Ben Ming Nian, you tigers could use a cat nap. Adequate rest and the implementation of a work/life balance that prioritizes creativity are essential to your well being and your ability to produce the kind of work that garners the attention and financial level up you’ve been seeking. How you take time away from toil is just as important as what you put into it. Bonus: whether you are seeking it or securing it, the forecast for love is favorable for you fine felines.


Astrology 101: Your guide to the stars


Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.

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