Due to the winter storm, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and museums in the Washington, D.C. area will be closed Wednesday, Feb. 20.
The Chinese zodiac rotates through a 12-year cycle of animals and the traditional five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. 2019 is the Year of the Earth Pig. The lunar new year begins February 5, 2019, and starts the Spring Festival season that ends fifteen days later on the evening of the Lantern Festival. Dating from as early as 1000 BCE, the traditional Chinese method of counting years is based on the sixty-year rotation of the planet Jupiter (known as the “year star”) around the sun.