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Lunar new year: What is the year of the snake?

People born in the year of the snake are believed to be thoughtful and stylish yet complex characters.

Chinese new year 1Enlarge
A store owner shows snake ornaments on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Snake, in China town in Manila on February 9, 2013. The Dragon Dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year to bring in good luck and prosperity as billions of Chinese world wide celebrate Lunar New Year of the Snake on February 10. (Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images)

Revelers around the world are getting ready to welcome the year of the Black Snake.

Chinese New Year officially starts on February 10, the first day of the lunar calendar, so it's time to say goodbye to the Year of the Dragon.

The lunar calendar is 12-year cycle with 12 different characters representing each year.

The dragon is considered the most auspicious sign in the Chinese zodiac, seen as a symbol of might and intelligence.

Eager couples and would-be parents carefully planned their weddings and babies to fall within the lucky Dragon year.

China is anticipating a 5 percent increase in the number of babies born this year, reports the BBC.

Those born in the year of the snake aren't considered so lucky. According to Reuters people born in the year of the snake are believed to be thoughtful and stylish yet complex characters.

People born in the Year of the Snake are reputed to be thoughtful and wise and to approach problems rationally and logically, seldom instinctively. Such people are complex beings, they are clever and men of few words from their birth. Their business is always going well, but they are stingy very often. They are sometimes egoistic and conceited. However they can be very active in their friends’ life. They are often too active, not believing other people and relying only on themselves. Snakes are also very insightful and naturally intuitive. If anyone has a sixth sense, it's those born in the Snake year. This is partly what makes them so mysterious.Snakes come in all varieties of colors and patterns. And maybe that's why people born in the Snake year love to appreciate beauty. People with the Chinese zodiac snake sign are very stylish, fashionable and have exceptional taste. - Hanban.com

It seems like being a snake isn't so bad after all. There are some who even refer to the snake as the little dragon.

Superstitions and taboos are common on Chinese New Year to ensure the coming year will be a prosperous and happy one. According to NBC, crying on New Year's Day means you will cry for the rest of the year, and washing your hair signifies washing away good luck.

It's also bad luck to clean on new year's day for fear that you'll be sweeping away good fortune for the year ahead.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/130209/lunar-new-year-what-the-year-the-snake