Chinese New Year 2020

Happy Chinese New Year - 2020 is the year of the Metal Rat!

Updated: Tuesday 17 November 2020

Colorful traditional Chinese lanterns hanging outdoors during a festival

In Chinese culture, the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival starts on Saturday 25th January lasting 11 days until Tuesday 4th February; it marks new beginnings and fresh starts with the colder days now in the past. Chinese New Year’s Day consists of spending time with family, celebrating, praying and warding off monsters through traditions and festivals.

Firecrackers are a key theme of celebration, originating from the legend of Nian, a young boy brave enough to come out of hiding and face monsters that would be present on New Year's Day; he used firecrackers to fight the monsters and survived. Each New Year marks the triumph of Nian overcoming the monsters. The colour red is also a common theme unique to Chinese New Year as it is believed that red is also effective at warding of evil spirits and monsters.

Why is 2020 the year of the Metal Rat and what does it mean?

The Chinese Zodiac outlines 12 zodiac signs (animals): Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Each Zodiac sign is linked to one of five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The combination of animal and element represent personality traits for those born in that year. Each year, the Zodiac animal moves onto the next animal; every 12 years the animal will be the same but the element will be different. It takes 60 years for the same combination to appear again, the last Metal Rat was in 1960.

The legend of the Rat reads that the Jade emperor told each Zodiac animal that the order of zodiac signs would be determined by who arrived at their party first, the Rat tricked the Ox by sharing a ride with it then beating the Ox to the party at the very end.

As a man born in the year of the Rat, personality traits consist of being adaptive and versatile, they are great at making the most of opportunities. As a woman born in the year of the Rat, traits consist of being highly organised and responsible.

The metal element combined with the Rat means that those born in this year are excellent at turning unlucky events into good fortune, they are also seen as reliable.

If you’re interested in finding out which Zodiac animal represents your birth year and what this means for your fortune, you can find out here!

Just how big are the Chinese New Year Celebrations?

Chinese New Year is a huge celebration filled with extravagant decoration, firecrackers, authentic cuisine (such as dumplings, soup-balls, rice cakes) and centered around family unity. Many Chinese nationals spending time abroad return for Chinese New Year, Chunyun describes the travel period surrounding Chinese New Year which is acknowledged as the world’s largest annual migration!

For those that can’t make the journey back to China, Chinese New Year is celebrated all around the world, such as: Asia, North America, Australia and the United Kingdom to name a few.

The Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year; lanterns are lit and represent excitement, freedom and socialisation. Lantern festivals also include riddles, dancing and games; variations of Chinese New Year celebrations can be experienced country to country.

Start the year in good health with our range of effective treatments for a prosperous 2020. From us here at Pharmica, have a Happy Chinese New Year and may the year of the Metal Rat bring you great fortune!


Iris Barbier

Written by: Iris Barbier

Pharmacy Assistant

Born in France, Iris moved to the UK to study Biological Sciences at London Metropolitan University. Upon graduating, Iris moved up north, where she completed an MA in Science Journalism at the University of Lincoln.

As a qualified science journalist, Iris uses her expertise to write content for Pharmica’s online Health Centre. She ensures our patients get specialist knowledge on medical conditions and how to treat them.

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