2016: The Year of the Fire Monkey

February 8th marks the turning of a new year in the Chinese Zodiac to the year of the Fire Monkey.   The Monkey is the 9th sign in the 12 year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac.  The year of the Fire Monkey begins February 8th and will last until January 27, 2017.  If you were born in the following years, you are also a Monkey:  1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004.

The Monkey is characterized by curiosity, mischievousness and cleverness.   They often love to play practical jokes, which can sometimes get them into hot water.   Monkeys thrive in times of challenge with their ability to be creative and agile.   They can have a short temper and feel that they are superior to those around them.  Monkeys can also be impulsive with short attention spans.

Each year in the chinese zodiac calendar also has one of the five elements associated with it, which further influence their nature.  The element associated with the Monkey in 2016 is that of Fire.  Fire Monkeys tend to have an abundance of determination, ambition and strength and are often the life of the party.  The Fire element can also shorten the Monkey temper.

The Chinese New Year is an opportunity to set the tone for the year ahead.   If you are anything like me, you’ve probably already started to slip on those New Years resolutions you came up with a few weeks ago.  So for those who have already let their New Year resolutions slide a bit, think of this as an opportunity to start fresh.

There are a number of things that are often done traditionally to make the year ahead as lucky and auspicious as possible.  These include wearing the color red on the New Year to bring the best luck in the coming year.   Eating noodles is also thought to bring happiness the coming year.  The longer the noodle, happier the luck.   Many people also give red envelopes with a small amount of money inside to their loved ones to bring wealth and prosperity in the coming year.

So, I wish you and your family a prosperous and happy New Year in the coming year of the Fire Monkey.  “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (恭禧發財)