Chinese New Year is the most important and longest of all Chinese festivals, celebrated in Chinese communities worldwide. The Monkey is ninth of the 12 animals in the recurring 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. Every 12 years there is a Monkey year.
Report by Paula Antolini
February 8, 2016 8:47AM EDT
Happy Chinese New Year 2016, The Year of the Monkey, Feb. 8
Chinese New Year 2016 is the “Year of the Monkey,” and begins on February 8th and lasts until Jan 27th, 2017. The year 2014 was the year of the horse, 2015 was the year of the goat, sheep, or ram, and 2016 is the year of not only the monkey but the fire monkey.
While the holiday is traditionally 15-days long, each country recognizes the entire holiday or certain portions of it. Countries or areas that recognize Chinese New Year as a public holiday include: the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Laos, Canada, the United States, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Kenya, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
The Monkey is ninth of the 12 animals in the recurring 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. Every 12 years there is a Monkey year. (Interestingly, Monkey years are all multiples of 12 — from 12 AD, through 1200 AD, to now in 2016.)
2016 Is a Fire Monkey Year — What ”Fire Monkey” Means
In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with a Chinese zodiac animal sign and one the Five Elements: Gold (Metal), Water, Wood, Fire, or Earth. Both the sign and element of your birth year are said to affect your personality and destiny. Element-sign combinations recur every 60 years.
Characteristics of those born in the year of the “fire monkey” include being “ambitious and adventurous, but irritable,” according to China Highlights (see chart below).
Five Elements Theory is a Chinese philosophy used to describe interactions and relationships between things. The five elements — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water — are believed to be the fundamental elements of everything in the universe between which interactions occur.
— Chinese: 五行 Wǔ Xing /woo sshing/ ‘Five Actions’ —
Are You a Monkey?
People born in a year of the Monkey are called “Monkeys” in China. Usually, if born in a multiple-of-12 year, like 1980, you’re a Monkey.
However, Monkey years are generally dated by the Chinese lunar calendar (starting on Chinese New Year), so if you were born in January or February check below for whether you’re a Monkey.
Find Your Chinese Zodiac SignChoose your date of birth and find out about your Chinese zodiac sign.
|The Five Monkeys||Born||Character|
|Fire Monkey||… 2016, 1956, …||Ambitious and adventurous, but irritable|
|Wood Monkey||… 2004, 1944, …||Always ready to help others; compassionate, with strong self-esteem, but stubborn|
|Water Monkey||… 1992, 1932, …||Smart, quick-witted, fond of being in the limelight, but haughty|
|Gold Monkey||… 1980, 1920, …||Smart, quick-witted, and confident, but also irritable and stubborn|
|Earth Monkey||… 1968, 1908, …||Frank, optimistic, and fearless|
|2016||February 8, 2016||January 27, 2017|
|2004||January 22, 2004||February 8, 2005|
|1992||February 4, 1992||January 22, 1993|
|1980||February 16, 1980||February 4, 1981|
|1968||January 30, 1968||February 16, 1969|
|1956||February 12, 1956||January 30, 1957|
|1944||January 25, 1944||February 12, 1945|
|1932||February 6, 1932||January 25, 1933|
|1920||February 20, 1920||February 7, 1921|
|1908||February 2, 1908||January 21, 1909|
(Some Chinese astrologers consider zodiac years to start and end within a day of February 5 — “Start of Spring” according to the traditional Chinese solar calendar.)
The Lucky and Unlucky Things for “Monkeys”
- Lucky numbers: 4 and 9
- Lucky days: the 14th and 28th of any Chinese lunar calendar month
- Lucky colors: white, blue, gold
- Lucky flowers: chrysanthemum, crape-myrtle
- Lucky directions: north, northwest, west
- Lucky months: Chinese lunar months 8 and 12
The Unlucky Things That “Monkeys” Should Avoid
- Unlucky colors: red, pink
- Unlucky numbers: 2 and 7
- Unlucky directions: south, southeast
- Unlucky months: Chinese lunar months 7 and 11
*****Chinese New Year is a festive occasion that calls for celebration in many places around the world.What Do People Do On Chinese New Year?Chinese New Year is the most important and longest of all Chinese festivals, celebrated in Chinese communities worldwide. Chinese New Year activities include:
• Making offerings to household deities.
• Wearing new clothes, particularly in red.
• Hosting a large banquet for family and friends.
• Taking part in lion and dragon dances, as well as festive parades featuring acrobatic demonstrations, beating gongs, and clashing cymbals.Many children receive “lucky money” in red envelopes and household doors are open to let good luck enter on Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year may also include a lantern festival, where people hang decorated lanterns in temples and carry lanterns to an evening parade.About Chinese New YearThis festival is believed go as far back as prehistory. It marks the start of the new lunar cycle and is called the Spring Festival (in the northern hemisphere) as it falls between the
December solstice and the March equinox. China follows the Gregorian calendar for daily business but the dates of the Chinese New Year and other important festivals are determined by the Chinese calendar.The Chinese New Year, which is the first day of the first month, in the Chinese calendar is assigned to an animal. According to one belief, Buddha promised gifts to all animals that would pay him homage. Only 12 animals came to honor Buddha so, to favor these 12 animals, each one was given one of the 12 years of the Chinese zodiac. People born during one of the animal’s years are said to inherit distinctive characteristics of that animal. The signs repeat every 12 years.What Animal Sign Were You Born Under?Click HERE to see your animal sign. The Chinese calendar is based on astronomical observations of the sun’s longitude and the moon’s phases. It is believed to have been introduced by Emperor Huangdi (or Huang Ti) at some stage around 2600 to 3000 years BCE. According to legend, the emperor invited the calendar in 2637 BCE. This calendar predates the Gregorian calendar, which was introduced in 1582. The Chinese lunar calendar is used to determine festivals, so the dates of these festivals vary each year. Various Chinese communities around the world also use this calendar.SymbolsChinese New Year has various symbols and traditions. For example, flowers are an important part of New Year decorations. Two flowers that are often associated with Chinese New Year are the plum blossom (courage and hope) and the water narcissus (good luck and fortune). Writings that refer to good luck are often seen in homes and business environments. They are usually written by brush on a diamond-shaped piece of red paper. Tangerines and oranges are also displayed in many homes and stores as a sign of luck and wealth.Envelopes with money (Hong Bao, Ang Pao, or Lai See), often come in the color red, which symbolizes happiness, good luck, success and good fortune. The color red is also used on these envelopes to ward off evil spirits. These envelopes are mainly given as presents to children. Each Chinese New Year is associated with an animal name for one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.What’s Open or Closed?Chinese New Year is a public holiday in China, which lasts for a few days. It is also a public holiday in countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.It is not a public holiday in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States. However, some businesses may close early and some streets may be closed for a short while to allow for festival parades to take place.###