Dining out in Chinese restaurants as a kid, there were always paper placemats with the Chinese Zodiac printed on them, the twelve signs represented by one of 12 animals. In order, they are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey (2016), Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Waiting for our dinner, we would figure out which sign was ours and what that meant in terms of personality attributes. But as soon as dinner was over, thoughts of rats, horses and pigs fled pretty quickly.
But to the Chinese, and many other Asian countries, the Chinese zodiac is part of traditional culture. It has been a prominent aspect in Chinese astrology and folklore and has influenced people’s lives since ancient times. Most Chinese people believe in an intrinsic compatibility between zodiac signs. In ancient times, the Chinese zodiac was consulted in marriage match making. Even today, some people will take seriously the zodiac compatibility before a marriage or love relationship can begin.
For instance, I entered a random date in the compatibility test, paired with my own real birthdate. The results were not quite thumbs down on this fictitious relationship, but it would not be smooth sailing: The compatibility rating is: 40% (Tolerable)
Both being stubborn, you are a couple with much inconsistency. The male tiger is realistic, aggressive, and seems to be always ready for battle, while the female ox is a peaceful and traditional lady. There is a long way to go before you can find common ground in your relationship.
Then I entered my husband’s and my birth dates with this result: The compatibility rating is: 60% (Workable)
Learn more about Chinese Zodiac Compatibility and take the test!
But why is a Zodiac Year an Unlucky Year?
According to Chinese astrology, people in their zodiac year are believed to offend Tai Sui (during the course of history, Tai Sui evolved into the God of Age), a mythical star that orbits Earth every 12 years exactly. Chinese astrology followers will then pay strict attention to their conduct every twelfth year, at age 12, 24, 36, etc. For the other signs of the zodiac, predictions are not so dire, but they still should pay close attention to the best and worst months of the lunar calendar for career, health, wealth, and love relationships.
It gets even more complicated when the elements are added. Each zodiac animal is associated with the five elements (Gold, Water, Wood, Earth, and Fire). According to the Chinese zodiac, 2016 is the year of Red Fire Monkey, starting on February 8, 2016 (called the Lunar Chinese New Year or Chinese Spring Festival) and ending January 27, 2017. Each zodiac sign has five types, and a zodiac sign of each element recurs every 60 years. Added to that, the Monkey is designated a yang sign because it has an odd number of toes (five). And all of these factors must be taken into account since they add up to a predestined set of personality traits.
So are Monkeys doomed for an entire year? Not necessarily. According to Chinese tradition, there are some things one can do to change their luck in a zodiac year, which in 2016 is the Monkey.
Wear Red: Red is one of the luckiest colors in Chinese culture, standing for prosperity, loyalty, success, and happiness. Red can drive away bad luck and evil spirits. Wearing a red belt, red socks, red shoes, or red clothes, and red underwear is highly recommended during your zodiac year. But – pay attention! – the red garments must be purchased by someone close to you. Stocking up on red clothing you purchased yourself will not ward of bad luck. A friend or spouse is fine, but the luckiest garment is one given to you by an elder.
Wear Jade Accessories: Add pendants, earrings, rings, and bracelets to your newly red themed wardrobe.
Face the Right Direction: People adjust the direction of beds, seats, desks, and even where they live and work to face away from Tai Sui, i.e. “to get Tai Sui behind them”, in an effort to incur good luck. In 2016 Tai Sui is in the southwest. So in 2016 “Monkeys” will not only adjust furniture, they will position themselves to face northeast when doing something important, such as a business negotiation, thereby giving them a better chance of success.
Read more at How to Be Lucky in Your Zodiac Year.
This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 8th. And just as in the Western New Year, the Chinese usually greet each other with best wishes, through phone calls, text messages or emails and in New Year cards. One-fifth of the world’s population observes Chinese New Year or, Spring Festival, as it’s known in some regions of Asia. China, Hong Kong and Macau, and nine other Asian countries have public holidays.
In a year of the Monkey, most greetings usually feature the use of the word ‘monkey’ (猴).
- I wish you lots of luck for this Monkey year. 祝你猴年大吉。
- May your work go smoothly in this Monkey year. 祝你猴年工作顺利。
- I wish you great fortune this Monkey year. 祝你猴年发大财。
- I wish you the leisure and wealth of monkey-kind this Monkey year. 祝你猴年悠闲富贵似猴子。
“Xinnian Kuaile” – “Happy New Year”.
Source: China Highlights
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