Chinese workers have made a huge drum, decorated with 480 lanterns in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China. The drum measures 6 metres in length and 4.8 metres in diameter, with Chinese word rat (ιΌ ) embedded at the surface on both sides of the drum to celebrate the coming new year.

Chinese calendar is represented with 12 zodiac animals for every 12-year cycle in specific sequence – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Next year will be the year of rat (begins on Feb 7 on Chinese New Year to be precise).

Giant lantern drum in Dalian, China Giant lantern drum in Dalian, China
Workers working on the drum in early December (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

In Chinese astrology, the 12 zodiac animals represent different character and luck for a person depending on his/her birth date and time. The months and hours of Chinese calendar are also categorized by the same group of animals in particular orders, but some formal terms would normally be used instead of the zodiac animals when referring to months or hours.


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