The legend of 12 Chinese Zodiac animal signs was first noted in China in the first century. Chinese people believe that each zodiac sign represents a certain personality. At the beginning of each new lunar year, each zodiac sign faces a new fortune. This is a popular belief in Chinese communities worldwide.
Lunar new years are based on an annual cycle of 12 animals. In order, the animal signs are: rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. The Year of the Tiger will begin on February 14, 2010 and lasts until the next lunar new year on February 5, 2011. Any baby born within this period is a tiger.
A simple algorithm to calculate which zodiac animal sign you belong to is to divide your birth year by 12, the remainder, such as 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 0, 1, 2, and 3 will represent a rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig, respectively.
During a person’s zodiac year, the person must be particularly cautious in conversation and behavior so as to prevent any possible crisis. In Taiwan, on the eve of a person’s zodiac year, some people can be found in the temples performing a ritual of “safeguarding the zodiac star” in which they pray for safekeeping by giving their names, birth dates and addresses to the gods.
According to the World Journal, the luckiest animal signs for the Year of the Tiger are horse, goat, and dragon while tiger, monkey, pig and snake land at the other end of the spectrum.
In the year of the tiger, Feng Shui consultant Ms. Mak Ling-ling predicts that those people born in the years of the horse and goat can make a fortune, but it can’t be done with undue haste. Those born in the year of the dragon will get their normal incomes but don’t expect any windfall. Those born in the years of tiger and monkey will have big ups and downs with their fortunes. Monkey and pig signs have a better chance of making money away from their place of birth. Snakes won’t make a fortune, but they will get help from rich females.
Mak added those born in the year of the rabbit will get help from rich males during the tiger year. So they should ask for financial advice from older men or better yet, partner with someone more experienced in investments. Chickens should hold no high hopes in investment, so better jump out of the market upon making a small profit and not be too greedy. It is better for dogs to make their own individual investment and not team-up with others. Blessed by the “love star,” cows will find a good lover for marriage, which in turn will improve their fortunes and bring good connections.
Fortune teller Li Ming-chu points out, those born in the years of the tiger and monkey will have much trouble in the year of tiger. They will encounter lots of fluctuation and would be advised to consult with others before taking any action. Those born under the sign of the pig should be careful of potential adversaries and pay attention to their own health.
Metaphysician Long Cheng-tien expressed similar thoughts that in a tiger year people should stay put and work locally instead of moving around in their zodiac year. If you are a monkey, you should keep a low profile as not to attract jealousy. Monkeys will face changing lives, frequently traveling or transferring to other places to work.
Feng Shui expert Li Chien-jun noted that pigs will have lots of accidents in the year of tiger, but they will finally get unexpected help. Fortune teller Lin Chen-yi advises tigers and monkeys not to make speculative investments in the year of the tiger. A monk at Yu Yang forecasts that pigs, snakes, goats and rats can improve their fortunes this year.
Actually, even people under the same zodiac may have different fortunes. According to Chinese numerology, every person is born on a different date and time. So his or her fate is different. Feng Shui expert Tsai Cheng-lun said, “Numerology provides a direction, but it's not the only path."
Whether you believe in the characteristics and the fortunes embodied in each animal, take it with a grain of salt since no single factor should ever be used to make a decision.
- The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.
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