Did you know that China has historically used a lunisolar calendar which follows both the moon phases and the solar year? Steeped in ancient tradition, the Chinese calendar includes intricate and detailed astrological meanings, with each year designated to a particular animal out of a list of 12; rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
It is said that, depending on which year you were born in, you will possess particular characteristics, fortunes and misfortunes, as well as a range of lucky numbers, colours and so on. It is even believed that the year you were born in will dictate which romantic partners you would be suited to, dependant on the year they were born.
This year, the Chinese New Year falls on Monday 8th February 2016 and it will be the year of the Monkey! People born within the year of the monkey are said to be curious, mischievous, clever and playful. They prefer urban life to rural and their favourite pastime is people watching. Sounds like you? If you were born in 1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 or 2004, congratulations – you are a monkey!
For each animal there are 5 elements, and in the case of the monkey there’s an earth monkey, gold monkey, water monkey, wood monkey and fire monkey. These follow in sequence (i.e 1980 gold monkey, 1992 water monkey, and so on) and this year happens to be the fire monkey!
Mischievous little monkeys
If you’re lucky enough to be welcoming a little fire monkey into the world this year, you’ll probably be interested to hear about their characteristics… Fire monkeys are said to be witty, intelligent, curious, mischievous, irritable, ambitious and adventurous! It is said that monkeys make good accountants, engineers, scientists, bankers, stock market traders, air traffic controllers, jewellers, salesmen and film directors!
Also known as the Spring festival, the Chinese New Year is actually celebrated over 16 days, culminating on New Years Eve with fireworks, lanterns, food, drink and lots of things in red (a lucky colour in Chinese culture). Unlike traditional New Years parties in the UK where people congregate to chat, watch fireworks and sing Auld Lang Syne, in China the celebrations are more akin to a carnival, full of lights, sounds and vibrant colours to fully indulge your senses!
新年快樂 – Happy New Year!
If you have friends or family living in China and you’d like to wish them a Happy New Year or Xīnnián kuàilè (pronounced Zeen-neean Kwai-luh), you can call China through Cherry Call for less than you might think! To call them simply follow the instructions on our website and use the international dialling code 0086.