Welcoming in the Year of the Monkey

The Year of the Monkey
The Year of the Monkey

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year, ringing in the Year of the Monkey. Aside from being the biggest celebration of the year for Chinese people around the world, this year happens to be the year of my Chinese Zodiac sign.

Winnie and I had a quiet New Year celebration. We’re still working on renovations to our den (currently hanging up all my “I Love Me” Navy plaques and certificates), so after going for a morning swim at our local rec center we spent most of the day in the house. In the afternoon we went out for dinner at our favorite local Chinese buffet, then a bit of shopping. Winnie called her family a couple of times to join in the festivities via remote, and that was our celebration.

This particular year is significant as people born under the year’s sign are supposed to have good luck, and I’m all for getting good luck anyway I can. There are 12 animal symbols within the Chinese zodiac, and within those symbols there are five elemental variations for “water,” “wood,” “fire,” earth,” and “metal.” Each of these are variations have there own significance.

I was born in 1956 which was the year of the “Fire Monkey,” which also happens to be this year’s symbol. The monkey is a powerful symbol in the Chinese zodiac as the Monkey King (Sun Wukong) is a major figure in Chinese mythology. Sun Wukong is the central character in the Chinese classic “Journey to the West” which I’ve both read and watched via CCTV 9’s television adaptation mini-series.

Monkey people are said to be Intelligent, dignified, optimistic, romantic, sociable, quick-witted, confident, agile, motivator, curious, and gregarious. However, on the negative flip side monkey people are said to be egotistical, vain, arrogant, selfish, deceptive, reckless, snobbish, stubborn, suspicious, manipulative, and restless.

I’m happy to own both the positive and negative traits of the monkey.

Fire monkeys have the additional traits of dynamism, strength, persistence but also restlessness. The fire element provides warmth, enthusiasm, and creativity, but too much can bring aggression, impatience, and impulsive behavior. I have to say, all of this pretty much defines me for better and for worse.

So to Chinese people wherever in the world you may happen to live, I wish you a 猴年吉祥 (Hóunián jíxiáng, Good luck for this Monkey year)!

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