TODAY marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the most important traditional festival of the Chinese calendar.

The celebration, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, takes place on the first new moon that appears between January 21 and February 20.

Common ways to honour the occasion include lantern decorations, fireworks and a dragon or tiger puppet dance. 

Banbury Cake:

Oxfordshire Chinese Community & Advice Centre Chinese New Year party 2018. Picture by Richard Cave

The colour red is often associated with the holiday, and is believed to symbolise joy and good luck.

ALSO READ: Children prepare for Chinese New Year celebration in town hall

2019 is the year of the pig, one of 12 animals that make up the Chinese zodiac and which rotate in a cycle each year. 

The years below will tell you which zodiac sign you were born during the year of and the personality traits associated with them.

  • Rat    -   Quick-witted, resourceful, versatile, kind

1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

  • Ox    -  Dependable, strong, determined

1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

  • Tiger   - Brave, confident, competitive

1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

  • Rabbit   - Quiet, elegant, modest, responsible

1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
 

  • Dragon   - Confident, intelligent, enthusiastic

1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
 

  • Snake   - Enigmatic, intelligent, wise

1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
 

  • Horse   - Animated, active, energetic

1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
 

  • Goat  - Calm, gentle, sympathetic

1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
 

  • Monkey  - Sharp, clever, curious     

1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
 

  • Rooster -   Observant, hardworking, courageous   

1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
 

  • Dog   -    Loyal, courageous, warm-hearted

1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
 

  • Pig   -    Compassionate, generous, diligent

1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019