Today (Feb 18, 2007) is The Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, etc)). The Chinese "zodiac", like the western one, has 12 aspects to it, but rather than being monthly, they are associated with years. This year is the Year of the Pig or Boar. More specifically, this year is also associated with Fire, so it's the Year of the Fire Pig.
This is a HUGE deal in China because it's the only major holiday of the year - everyone gets it off, and it's like your birthday, new years eve and xmas all rolled into one. If you were hoping to do any business with the Chinese for the next, oh week or so, or last few days, fuggedaboutit. That's probably why your emails are not being answered ;)
Some facts about Chinese Year Year
Fireworks are traditional because the loud noises and red colors are said to scare away evil. Plus, it's fun!
The Dragon Dance is also common, and in the East dragons are considered good luck. If you look closely at most dragon dances, you will see people throwing cabbage to feed it - yes, that's part of the ceremony - most westerners miss it.
There is more information about Chinese New Year in wikipedia.
Happy New Year - Gung Hei Fat Choi
Many people don't say "Happy New Year" (新年快乐 - Sun nin fai lok), but rather say "Congratulations and be Prosperous" (恭喜发财 - Gung hei fat choi). If you have to remember one, I'd choose "Gung hei fat choi." (A close English pronunciation for US and Canada: "Gung Hay Fat Choy").
I always think of it as the Chinese equivalent of Spock saying "Live long and Prosper", but then I'm a geek...
The Pig or Boar
The Year of the Pig (Boar): the Pig represents Fertility and Virility - it's considered a good year to have a child. The Pig zodiac person is considered to be a honest, straightforward and patient, who tend to avoid the limelight and work behind the scenes. They are quick to offer support to others. They tend to be ethical and trustworthy.
The Pig type is seldom vengeful and usually very tolerant of other people's views and opinions. Like the boar, although they do not seek a fight, they will defend themselves and their friends/family fiercely. They tend to be good students and excellent friends.
Of all the Chinese Zodiac personality types, the Pig or Boar is the most universally admired.
Chinese Zodiac Predictions for 2007 - Year of the Pig
(Keep in mind I'm not an astrologer nor particularly psychic (I actually don't believe in zodiac influences - I just think it's interesting sometimes)- the following is based on traditional methods, rather than any particular skill or insight of my own.
Since this is the year of the Fire Pig, the normally easy-going nature of the Pig takes on some more fiery and passionate aspects. Here are some predictions from around the web for this year:
- This is a great year to work on or complete existing projects - not such a good year for starting new ones. This is a bad year for taking a lot of risks.
- It's an excellent time to start a romance or to take an existing one to a new level.
- A lot of money can be made this year.
- If you are a student or in acedemia, this could be a very good year for you.
- The Pig is a go-with-the-flow type - if you focus on enjoying life's pleasures and heating up your relationships, this will be a very good year for you!
Your Chinese Zodiac Sign
If you were wondering what your Chinese Zodiac sign is, you can look it up here:
Of course, it's a lot more complicated than this for true believers, but this is usually good enough for most westerners.
The Twelve Animals
RAT: People born in the Year of the Rat are noted for their charm and charisma. They are perfectionists and work very hard to achieve their goals. They are very thrifty with money yet like to acquire many possessions. They get angry easily and love to gossip. They have high ambitions and are quite often very successful. They are most compatible with people born in the years of the Dragon, Monkey, and Ox.
OX: People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, quiet yet inspire confidence in others. They are eccentric and temperamental. They speak little but when they do they are quite articulate. Mentally and physically alert, they are generally easy-going but can be very stubborn and they hate to fail or be opposed. They are most compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Rat people.
TIGER: People born the Year of the Tiger are deep thinkers, very sensitive and can have great sympathy for others. They are powerful and courageous. However, they can be extremely short-tempered and don’t respond to authority, especially if it’s from older people. They are sometimes indecisive and have poor judgment. Tigers are most compatible with Horses, Dragons, and Dogs.
RABBIT: People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. They are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. They are clever at business and often make the correct choices. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.
DRAGON: People born in the Year of the Dragon are healthy, energetic, excitable, short-tempered, and stubborn. They are also honest, sensitive, brave, and they inspire confidence and trust in others. They are the most eccentric of any in the eastern zodiac. They never borrow money, are very straight forwarded and tend to be soft hearted which sometimes gives others an advantage over them. They are compatible with Rats, Snakes, Monkeys, and Roosters.
SNAKE: People born in the Year of the Snake are emotionally and spiritually deep. They say little yet possess great wisdom. Snake people are often selfish and vain yet can show tremendous sympathy for others. They tend to rely on themselves because they have serious doubts about other people’s judgment. They hate to fail and are determined in whatever they do. Appearing calm on the surface, they are intense and passionate creatures. Usually very good-looking in appearance, they sometimes have relationship problems because of it. They are most compatible with the Ox and Rooster.
HORSE: People born in the Year of the Horse are very popular. They like to be entertained and like being around large crowds. They are wise, talented, and very good with their hands. They are cheerful, skillful with money, and perceptive, although they sometimes talk way too much for their own good. They are very independent and don’t listen to others advice. They are most compatible with Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep.
GOAT/SHEEP: People born in the Year of Goat are elegant and highly accomplished in the arts. They are wise, gentle, and compassionate On the surface they appear better off than those born in the zodiac's other years but are often shy, pessimistic and often puzzled about life. They are very spiritual yet timid. They are sometimes not well spoken but are always passionate about what they do and what they believe in. Their abilities will always make them prosperous so they are able to enjoy all the comforts of a good life. They are compatible with Rabbits, Pigs, and Horses.
MONKEY: People born in the Year of the Monkey are the erratic geniuses of the zodiac. Clever, skillful, and flexible, they are remarkably inventive, original in thinking, and can solve the most difficult problem with ease. They are sometimes impatient and must do things immediately and if they cannot, they become discouraged and give up easily. Although good at making decisions, they tend to look down on others. Having strong common sense, they have excellent memories and a deep desire for knowledge. They are very strong willed yet do not stay angry long. They are most compatible with the Dragon and Rat.
ROOSTER: People born in the Year of the Rooster are deep thinkers, very capable and naturally talented. They are very devoted and like to keep busy but are deeply disappointed with personal failure. They can be eccentric resulting in troubled relationships with others. They always think they are right and usually are. Being loners, they sometimes give the outward impression of being adventurous but are actually timid. They can be selfish and too outspoken, but are always interesting and can be extremely brave. They are most compatible with Ox, Snake, and Dragon.
DOG: People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They are great leaders, have a deep sense of loyalty, and are honest. They are very trustworthy because they can keep secrets. They can be very selfish and stubborn at times and can be emotionally cold and sometimes distant. They always have money but care very little for wealth. They are easy to criticize other and are noted for their sharp tongues. They are compatible with those born in the Years of the Horse, Tiger, and Rabbit.
PIG/BOAR: People born in the Year of the Pig are gallant and always give their best effort. They have tremendous fortitude, great honesty, and are very optimistic. They have few friends but the relationships they do have are lifelong. They are extremely loyal so their friendship is very prized by others and they are very kind to love ones. They have a great thirst for knowledge and study a great deal so they are well informed. They are quick tempered yet hate to argue. They are most compatible with Rabbits and Sheep.
Chinese culture is a hobby of mine, and a fascinating subject (sinology). One of the best ways to learn about it, of course, is to actually visit China. If you are a search marketer, I'd like ot remind you that time is running out to sign up for the China Search Marketing Tour. As a matter of fact, if you sign up before MARCH 5, you can get a $500 DISCOUNT!
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