December 13, 2015
Year of the Monkey
When: 8th February 2016 (Jan 28th 2017)
Where: Across the Kingdom of Thailand
The Chinese New Year, (Trut Jihn (ตรุษจีน in Thai) also called Spring Festival, (In folk culture, it is also called “guonian” (meaning “passing a year”) is the most important festival for Chinese people and is the time for the whole families to get together. It is in essence similar to Christmas day for the western world. Originating during the Shang Dynasty (about 17th – 11th century BC) the festival has over a 4,000 year history.
Length of the Festival
Traditionally the festival goes on for almost three weeks and lasts from the 23rd day of the twelfth month to the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar, this last day has its own festival called the ‘Lantern Festival’).
The proceedings follow a strict schedule where the people have something to do every day. Preparations start 7 days before the New Year’s Eve, when the people start to clean the homes and only finish on the 15th of the lunar calendar
It is believed that the custom of Chinese New Year began when the people would offer thanks for the end of the harvest. They did this by offering sacrifices to ancestors and at the time, they would thorough clean both themselves and their homes. The festival dates changed according to the farming schedule and was not fixed until the Han Dynasty (202BC-220AD)
Legends surrounding the Festival
With such a long history it is not surprising that there are many legends about the Spring Festival. In one such fable there lived a monster called the “Nian” which was fierce and cruel and ate one kind of animal including human beings every day.
The people were so scared that in the evening they would hide while the monster came out to hunt, after awhile they found out that the Nian was scared of the colour RED and equally fireworks, especially firecrackers, and so the people used these items to drive away the wicked monster and that is why the festival is awash with the colour red and alive with the noise of firecrackers and fireworks.
The start of the New Year, it is regarded as bench mark for the rest of the year and so there are many taboos that are adhered to during the festivities. People will refrain from using words relating to “death”, “broken”, “killing”, “ghost” and “illness” or “sickness”.
It is also considered unlucky if the barrel of rice is empty, because they believe this to be an omen and they will have nothing to eat during the year. Taking medicine is also forbidden on this day; otherwise, people will have sick for the whole year and take medicine constantly.
Year of the Monkey
There are a total of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac; the Monkey comes 9th in the series. The 12 zodiac animals are: in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
Those born in the Year of the Monkey attributes are as follows:
Lucky Colors: white, golden, blue
Unlucky Colors: red, black, grey, dark coffee
Lucky Numbers: 1, 8, 7
Unlucky Numbers: 9, 2, 5
Lucky Flowers: chrysanthemum
Best match: rat, dragon, and snake
Avoid matching: tiger, pig
You’re a Monkey if you were born in these years:
Years of the Monkey
Is curious, clever, flexible and mischievousness. Always playful, Monkeys are the masters of practical jokes. Even though their intentions are always good, this desire to be a prankster has a tendency to create ill will and hurt feelings.
Although they are inherently intellectual and creative, Monkeys at times have trouble exhibiting these qualities. When that happens, they appear to others to be confused. But nothing could be further from the truth as Monkeys thrive on being challenged. Monkeys prefer urban life to rural, and their favorite pastime is people-watching.
Those born in the Year of the Monkey are lively, flexible, quick-witted and versatile. They love being active and sports. Being talented problem solvers, they are self-assured, sociable and innovative, with competent practical ability. They are even willing to put their own business aside to help others. They have strong desire for knowledge and have excellent memories. They will show amazing creativity in their work.
They are jealous, suspicious, cunning, selfish and arrogant sometimes, and they tend to look down upon others. If they are not impatient and mouthy, they can gain more achievement.
When it comes to relationships, Monkeys aren’t quick to settle down. In fact, Monkeys are easily bored. But once committed to a partner it is for life.