What the Chinese Zodiac Means for You

“What’s your sign?”

“I’m a rat!” “I’m an ox!”

This might sound odd, unless you’re familiar with the Chinese zodiac system, which is comprised of 12 animals, including the rat and the ox.

The 12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac cycles through every 12 years, so depending on your birth year, you are one of 12 animals. But be aware that this system is based on the lunar calendar, not the Gregorian calendar, so the start of the new year shifts each year in accordance with the moon. Generally, Lunar New Year happens sometime between late January and early February. This year, the new year is February 12, ushering in the Year of the Ox.

The origin story for this system varies, but generally, it’s believed that Buddha wanted to invite 12 animals to his birthday party and declared a race – the first 12 animals to arrive would be his honored guests. The rat, small but strategic, knew he’d never win on his own, so jumped on the back of the fastest animal, the ox. Nearing Buddha, the rat jumped off and scurried into first place, which is why the rat is always first in the cycle. And the ox, second.

Each animal sign is endowed with personality traits, partially derived from the origin story, partially from the animals’ inherent characteristics. While western culture typically assigns more negative traits to many of the animals in the Chinese zodiac, Chinese mythology has a very different interpretation. So don’t fret if you’re a rat, a snake or a pig.

Animal Personalities

The Rat

As the first to arrive at Buddha’s party, rats are competitive, quick-thinking, and ambitious. But they can also be stubborn, devious, and enjoy gossiping just a little bit too much.
Years of the Rat: 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020.

The Ox

As the rat’s ride to the party, the ox is very patient, diligent, and honest. On the other hand, the ox can often be stubborn, narrow-minded, and a poor communicator.
Years of the Ox: 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

The Tiger

Even though the tiger came in third in Buddha’s race, it is generally considered a very lucky animal. Tigers are charming, courageous, and have the potential to be good leaders. But watch out, they can also easily be prone to boastfulness, irritability, and overindulgence.
Years of the Tiger: 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022.

The Rabbit

People born in the year of the rabbit tend to be kind, popular, and generally enjoy a long life. Rabbits also make great negotiators. However, they also tend to be secretive, stubborn, and quick to settle into melancholy so they do well to keep a large circle of good friends.
Years of the Rabbit: 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011.

The Dragon

Everyone wants to be a dragon: they are energetic, powerful, and have a robust constitution. But, cross a dragon and you’ll see its conceited, judgmental, and quick-tempered side.
Years of the Dragon: 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012.

The Snake

If someone calls you a snake, take it as a compliment. In the Chinese zodiac, a snake is considered to be charming, generous, and discreet. And if you are one, just keep your propensity for being lazy and greedy in check.
Years of the Snake: 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013.

The Horse

Horses in this zodiac are energetic with an indomitable spirit, clever, and easily draw others into their circle. But they can also often be arrogant, over-confident, and selfish.
Years of the Horse: 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014.

The Goat

Goat (also sheep or ram) are considered to be polite, calm, and determined. On the flip side, they can have unrealistic expectations, are prone to pessimism and can be slow on the uptake.
Years of the Goat: 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015.

The Monkey

Everyone should know a monkey; monkeys are so charming and fun and creative. But get close enough and you’ll quickly see another side that’s arrogant, crafty, and eternally restless.
Years of the Monkey: 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.

The Rooster

Roosters are practical, hard-working, independent, and love keeping a tidy home. They have the potential to make the perfect partner, but keep in mind their propensity to be easily swayed by others and a lack of social skills.
Years of the Rooster: 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017.

The Dog

Loyal, kind, and friendly, dogs are very much akin to their animal counterparts. But their love of a good home life often keeps them from socializing with others. And once they’re out of their comfort zone, they can be cold, stubborn, and highly judgmental.
Years of the Dog: 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018.

The Pig

Pigs don’t have the best reputation in Western culture, but in this zodiac pigs are seen as intelligent, compassionate, and ruled by a sense of just. They’re also considered to be very lucky in wealth, which is good since they have a taste for luxury. The pig was last to arrive at Buddha’s party not because it was slow or tired, but because the pig was watching out for everyone else, to make sure they arrived safely. The darker side of pigs reveal their extreme stubbornness, naiveté, and materialism.
Years of the Pig: 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019.

What to Expect in the Year of the Tiger

In China, the Tiger is known as the king of all beasts. Those born in years of the Tiger are ambitious, daring and courageous. They are also enthusiastic, generous, optimistic and cheerful by nature, and are committed to helping others for the greater good.

Those born in the Year of the Tiger in 2022 may suffer major setbacks, misunderstandings, possibly even meet with more serious disasters. Sudden disruptions in career, romance and home life should be expected. It may not be the ideal year for the Tiger, but 2022 is all about following your intuition and taking leaps for the chance to be rewarded. You can read a more detailed breakdown of the Year of the Tiger here.

Lunar New Year Traditions to Boost Your Good Fortune

Chinese New Year Traditions

Happy New Year! Lunar New Year, also commonly known as Chinese New Year, begins on February 5 and is celebrated around the world, especially in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, North Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Hundreds of millions of people will travel across China and around the world to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Pig with their families.

A symbol of prosperity in Asia, the Pig should bring good luck and wealth to almost everyone this year. But to increase your chances of good fortune coming your way, follow these Lunar New Year traditions.

Feast with Family

Chinese New Year Traditions Include Dinner

Spending time with family during this holiday is paramount. The most important meal is New Year’s Eve dinner, where traditional dishes like whole steamed fish, noodles, Buddha’s Feast (vegetables), and dumplings are always served.

A favourite dish that always disappears quickly is nian gao: giant, thick, chewy rice noodles cut into small pieces and fried up with savoury meats and vegetables.

Give (or Get) Red Envelopes

Chinese New Year Traditions Including Giving and Receiving Red Envelopes

Bright red envelopes adorned with ornate gold characters or flowers on the front and filled with money are traditionally given by married people to anyone younger than they are, which means parents have a lifetime of supplying red envelopes to their children (and grandchildren).

If you’re from a large family, you can amass a small fortune in one evening. As you grow older and get married, you’re expected to return this generosity to the younger generation. The amount of money given reflects your relationship with the receiver; the closer the relationship, the more you give. It’s common for parents to give $100 to their children, whereas the child of your co-worker might get $5.

Clean House

Chinese New Year Traditions Include Cleaning House

It’s important to start the new year with good energy, and a common way to make room for good new year energy is to clean your house. Out with the old! This is the Chinese version of a good spring cleaning.

And as the new year ushers in a fresh start, it’s also believed that you don’t want to disturb that energy as it settles into your home, so be particularly mindful of things that should start with a clean slate on February 5: garbage bins, recycling bags, vacuum canisters, compost buckets, etc. The longer you can hold out from throwing something away in the new lunar year, the stronger your prospects for prosperity.

Buy New Clothes and Shoes

Chinese New Year Traditions Include Getting New Clothes and Shoes

Another way to symbolize a fresh start to the new year is with new clothes, particularly new shoes. In the past, when people didn’t have easy access to retail stores or enough money to replenish their wardrobe throughout the year, this little bit of luxury was reserved for this holiday.

When you’re shopping for your lunar new year outfit, make it extra lucky by incorporating some red into it.

Enjoy the Fireworks

Chinese New Year Traditions Include Fireworks

As the inventor of fireworks, it’s no surprise that massive amounts of colourful, loud firework displays blanket much of China and the rest of Southeast Asia on Lunar New Year’s Eve.

In ancient times, it was believed that these loud displays could ward off evil spirits. Today, they’re just a beautiful, joyous celebration of this holiday. Many of them are televised or shared online and through social media, so make sure to watch while eating dumplings as you welcome in the Year of the Pig.

Happy Lunar New Year from all of us at London Drugs!

4 Beauty Essentials to Indulge in for a Radiant Lunar New Year

1. Red Lips

What could be luckier than the perfect red lipstick? Found in beautiful, highly pigmented shades, our Beauty Advisors have hand-picked the best reds to complete your Lunar New Year look. An exciting new satin-finish red from Lise Watier, the Baiser Satin in Red Hot Kiss has the ultimate intense, rich finish that lipstick lovers dream of, and would make a beautiful statement for Lunar New Year.

If the on-trend matte lip is your finish of choice instead, NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo is a budget-friendly red that truly delivers. Of course, a classic silky smooth red is always a good choice, and Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Love that Red boasts mega-moisturizers to keep your pout looking flawless.

2. Bright Complexions

Luminous skin is a sure-fire way to start off your Lunar New Year beautifully. Our Beauty Advisors recommend a brightening cream like Strivectin’s Brighten & Perfect Radiance Refining Moisturizer to hydrate and enhance skin’s radiance. Or try the brand new White Lucent Brightening Protective Emulsion from Shiseido, a daytime moisturizer which brightens dull skin, focusing on environmental stressors like UV rays, air pollution and dryness.

For a highly powered solution to rapidly correct dark spots, uneven skin tone and brighten dull skin, NeoStrata’s SecureWhite Brightening Serum is a favourite amongst beauty bloggers.

3. Magnificent Masks

A pampering face mask is the perfect way to indulge in a New Year skincare routine! Providing some of the great benefits of a spa facial, face masks can draw out impurities, eliminate dead cells, or tighten and tone.

For a healthy looking glow that also minimizes the appearance of lines and wrinkles, Clarins’ Super Restorative Replenishing Comfort Mask is a must-try, according to our Beauty Advisors. If clogged and enlarged pores are also an issue, the Multi-‘Face’-eted All-in-One Anti-Aging Clay mask from Bliss will unclog pores while also reducing fine lines and brightening skin tone. A luxurious choice is Shiseido’s White Lucent Power Brightening Mask, which gives dull uneven skin a much-needed pick-me-up, in the form of a mess-free mask.

4. Precious Oils

The restorative powers of precious oils make them a special treat for your tired skin. Made from 100% pure plant extracts, the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil is a natural astringent for oily or combination skin, and also soothes and seals in moisture to prevent fine lines, while refining the skin’s texture.

Our Beauty Advisors also recommend applying Biotherm’s Blue Therapy Serum in Oil at Night to plump the skin, increase luminosity, and smooth wrinkles; the formula has the efficacy of a serum, with the essential recovery power of an oil. For a pure, intensive dose of restoring Ceramides and essential lipids, try the potent Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum from Elizabeth Arden. Each capsule helps to strengthen skin’s barrier against the visible signs of aging.