Everything You Need to Know about the Year of the Rabbit

How is the New Year celebrated, the symbolism, when to send your ecard and what to write.
Chinese New Year Rabbit holding qian

2023 is the Year of the Rabbit 

While much of the world celebrated 2023 when the calendar switched over to January, in most Asian cultures, the new year won’t begin until January 22. This is when, according to the Chinese zodiac, the new Year of the Rabbit will begin. 

Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. It is a time when people honor their ancestors and the deities associated with their family. 

What Does the Year of the Rabbit Symbolize? 

The Year of the Tiger, in 2022, was a year for confidence. Babies born under the sign are believed to be brave, idealistic, and thrill-seeking. 2022, according to experts, was a “yang year” this means it was a year for action and building. 

The Year of the Rabbit will be different. 2023 is said to be a “yin year”, which means it will be more passive and reflective. Where the Tiger symbolizes strength, vitality, and growth, the Rabbit symbolizes rest, hope, and prosperity. However, this doesn’t mean nothing good will happen during the Year of the Rabbit because while the rabbit is seen as a more gentle animal than the tiger, it is still quick and can be seen as very smart and cunning. Here are more fun fact about the Year of the Rabbit: 

  • The rabbit is the luckiest of the 12 animals associated with the Chinese zodiac.
  • 2023 is the year of the Water Rabbit, which adds the symbols of vigilance and self-protection to the symbols of rest and prosperity
  • Lucky colors associated with the rabbit include blue, red, and pink
  • Lucky numbers associated with the rabbit include 3, 4, and 6
  • Celebrities born in the Year of the Rabbit include Johnny Depp, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jordan

How is Chinese New Year Celebrated?

Chinese New Year is celebrated annually for a period of 15 days. Some call Chinese New Year the Spring Festival. Sending a Chinese New Year card can be a great way to reconnect with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while. 

Over the two weeks of the holiday there are many celebrations, and most revolve around family. For most, the holiday begins with a thorough cleaning of the home. This cleaning is a welcoming for the good things that will happen during the ensuing year. Many families will decorate their windows and doors with festive cutouts symbolizing good fortune, happiness, and wealth. Once the home is prepared for visitors, many will host family reunions, special dinners with friends and family, and will exchange gifts. More Chinese New Year traditions can be found here.

When to send Chinese New Year’s ecards 

The custom of sending cards to friends and family who you haven’t seen continues into the Chinese New Year. This tradition began with Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, who sent gold cards to his many ministers. Today, cards are sent between January 22, the first day of the Chinese New Year celebration, and February 9, the last day of the celebration.

Chinese New Year ecards should include a happy, thoughtful greeting for your loved one. You could begin with: 

  • Happy New Year! May all go well with you!
  • Xīn Nián Kuài Lè - translated, this means Happy Chinese New Year
  • Wishing you health and prosperity this Lunar New Year!
  • Sending happy thoughts of a hopeful, prosperous, and restful Year of the Rabbit!
  • Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Choose from these beautiful Lunar New Year cards, or design your own card. 

What are the next Chinese New Year themes?

The Chinese New Year runs on a sixty year cycle. This cycle incorporates 12 branches, each of which represents an animal; each animal is further described according to one of the five elements - wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. 

  • 2024, the Year of the Dragon, beginning 10 February
  • 2025, the Year of the Snake, beginning 29 January
  • 2026, the Year of the Horse, beginning 17 February
  • 2027, the Year of the Goat, beginning 6 February
  • 2028, the Year of the Monkey, beginning 26 January
  • 2029, the Year of the Rooster, beginning 13 February
  • 2030, the Year of the Dog, beginning 3 February
  • 2031, the Year of the Pig, beginning 23 January
  • 2032, the Year of the Rat, beginning 11 February
  • 2033, the Year of the Ox, beginning 31 January
  • 2034, the Year of the Tiger, beginning 19 February

The date for the celebration begins during the first new moon that appears between January 21 and February 20; some calculate it as starting on the second new moon following December 21, the Winter Solstice. The celebration ends fifteen days after it begins, in a culmination event called the Lantern Festival. During this part of the celebration, people will release lanterns into the sky. This signifies letting go of the past. 

However you choose to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, make the year more special by sending one our fun and beautiful Chinese New Year ecards.