Chinese New Year begins on 8 February, welcoming in the Year of the Monkey on the Chinese Zodiac calendar.
The annual celebration is the largest of its kind in China – businesses all over the country shut for 7 days so people can return home and enjoy the occasion with family and friends.
There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac – much like the traditional zodiac calendar we know in Britain, each animal has its own unique set of attributes. It starts with the Year of the Rat and cycles through another animal each year.
2016 marks the Year of the Monkey – if you were born under this sign, it is believed you will have a good year ahead, filled with luck and plenty of opportunities.
Interested in the meaning of your sign? Here’s some of the main characteristics of each of the 12 signs…
1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972
- Rats are known for being quick-witted, resourceful, versatile, kind, adaptable and blessed with a strong curiosity and intuition.
- Saying: Wisdom without industriousness leads to triviality
1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973
- The Ox is known for being diligent, reliable, honest, determined and ambitious. They have strong ideals and attach great importance to family and work.
- Saying: Industriousness without wisdom leads to futility
1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974
- Tigers are brave, confident, adventurous, open and independent. They are charming and well-liked by others and will accept any challenge that is important to them.
- Saying: Valour without caution leads to recklessness.
1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975
- Rabbits are gentle, quiet, clever, elegant, alert, kind and patient. They are faithful to those around them and like to be cautious, rarely revealing their true minds to others.
- Saying: Caution without valour leads to cowardice.
1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976
Dragons are enthusiastic, confident, intelligent, ambitious, hardworking and straightforward. Dragons are gifted with tenacity and intelligent, are not afraid of challenges and are willing to take risks.
Saying: Strength without flexibility leads to fracture.
1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977
- Snakes are intelligent, wise, materialistic, calm, courageous, lively and communicative. Snakes are intuitive and known to act according to their own judgment. They are determined to accomplish their goals and hate to fail.
- Saying: Flexibility without strength leads to compromise.
1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978
- Horses are active, energetic, kind, rational, optimistic, sentimental and straightforward. Horses love to be in a crowd, take centre stage and delight audiences.
- Saying: Forging ahead without unity leads to abandonment.
1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979
- Goats are calm, gentle, creative, thoughtful, persevering, frank and honest. Though gentle on the surface, goats are also tough and opinionated with strong instincts.
- Saying: Unity without forging ahead leads to stagnation.
1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980
- Monkeys are ambitious, adventurous, smart, quick-witted, confident and optimistic. They are witty, intelligent and have a magnetic personality. Monkeys are known to be mischievous, curious and clever – a true lover of practical jokes.
- Saying: Changeability without being constant leads to foolishness.
1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981
- Roosters are observant, hardworking, confident, courageous, talented, frank and honest. Roosters are known for being active and popular, talkative and at their happiest when surrounded by others.
- Saying: Being constant without changeability leads to woodenness.
1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982
- Dogs are honest, amiable, kind, cautious, prudent, loyal and sincere. They are known for their strong sense of loyalty, doing anything for those they love. They are good natured and always ready to help others, but sometimes struggle to communicate their innermost thoughts and feelings.
- Saying: Fidelity without amiability leads to rejection.
1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983
- Pigs are compassionate, generous, easy-going, ambitious, earnest, responsible and modest. They are known for their great concentration; devoting all their passion and energy to their goals. No matter how stressful things get, pigs handle things properly and carefully.
- Saying: Amiability without fidelity leads to immorality.
What’s your Chinese Zodiac sign? Do you know anyone born the Year of the Monkey?