Posts tagged: new year

恭喜发财!Happy Year of the Monkey!

By , February 4, 2016

Happy Year of the Monkey!

If last year’s Year of the Sheep was a little too sleepy for you, have no worries because Monday, February 8 ushers in the more exciting, flamboyant, roller-coaster ride known as Year of the Monkey.

For those born under the monkey sign, you are considered clever, energetic, playful, rarely embarrassed and the life of the party. With the desire to lead, sometimes the monkey can be self-centered and bossy, and at times arrogant. Monkeys always believe that they are right. Which can be dangerous as such a winning personality can often convince others to follow along even if it isn’t the best idea. But with a monkey, you will always have a lot of fun. Some famous monkeys: Julius Cesar, Danny De Vito, Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Hanks, Delta Burke, Will Smith, Eleanor Roosevelt and Leonardo Da Vinci. Maybe not all party animals but certainly influential.

2016 – the Fire Monkey!

But what does the Year of the Monkey mean for the world at large? To understand that, we need to understand a little bit more about Chinese astrology, or what Feng Shui master Raymond Lo has called a “fascinatingly accurate system.” The year’s animal sign only tells us so much. What also matters is the internal “element sign” of the animal and how it matches up with the element for that year. Each one of the 12 zodiac animals has an internal element from the five Chinese elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). For monkeys, the internal element is always metal. But each year also consists of an element. 2016 is fire. Hence, 2016 is known as the Fire Monkey.

And here in lies the rub. According to Raymond Lo, fire, the element for 2016, and metal, the internal element of the monkey, are in conflict, so 2016 will be no barrel of monkeys. Instead, expect international conflicts and clashes, but not to the level of 2014 and 2015. Because fire sitting on metal is also considered a “setting sun,” bringing optimism and warmth, expect conflicts to peter out quickly and end with successful treaties and agreements.

Happy New Year!

How will you do this year?  Check out your personal horoscope here (note you may have to do a Bazi test to determine the strength of your birth year element.  You can do that here – note that birth date is entered day-month-year). But at the very least, to ensure that the good luck of the New Year stays with you all year, here are some things to avoid on February 8 and the 15 days after, when the “Spring Festival” is ultimately concluded with the Lantern Festival: avoid sweeping (to avoid sweeping away your good luck), no collection of debts, avoid borrowing money (if you start the year borrowing money, you will be doing that all year long), do not use scissors or knives on the first day, don’t do laundry and never chop wood.

So to all our East Asian friends, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! For our Chinese friends: Xin Nian Kuai Le! (pronounced Sin Nee-an Kuai Le!). To kids in New York City’s public schools, enjoy your first (hopefully of many) Lunar New Years off!

恭喜发财!Happy Year of the Snake!

By , February 9, 2013

Happy Year of the Snake!

Sunday starts a new lunar year and with it, brings a new zodiac sign to rule the planet – the snake.  Fortunately for the snake, it doesn’t get the same bad rap in Asia that it gets in the West.  In Asia, snakes are often viewed as “little dragons” with a bit more of a calm and calculating personality.  Snakes are considered intelligent, stylish, and passionate but at times complex and unscrupulous.  It is said that a home with a person born in the year of the snake will never go hungry, perhaps relying on the ingenuity of the snake.

Like the creature itself, Year of the Snake proves elusive in its predictions with the last two snake years – 1989 and 2001 – providing major changes to the world order, the Tian’anmen Square protests and the World Trade Center attacks, respectively.  Major change is not surprising in a year governed by an animal that sheds its skin.

But what could make the 2013 Year of the Snake even more tumultuous is that the year element – water – and the animal element – for snakes, fire – are in conflict.  Water is considered a destroyer of fire, putting the two in a constant struggle. The only aspect of the snake and water that aren’t in conflict is the ability to make money.  Snakes are considered good at making money and water is the natural element of money.

How will you do this year?  Check out your personal horoscope here (note you may have to do a Bazi test to determine the strength of your birth year element.  You can do that here – note that birth date is entered day-month-year).

All this uncertainty brought on by the Water Snake is stressful, but have no fear, the Year of the Snake has its very own cocktail!  Detailed-oriented and elegant like the snake, this cocktail should help you get through what could be a challenging year.

Whatever this year might bring, we wish our Asian friends a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!  恭喜发财! (Gong Xi Fa Cai – pronounced gung-see-fa-tsai).  Those looking to ring in the new year with some music, check out the video below.

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