Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy Year of the Rooster!

Today, January 28, 2017, millions of people around the world celebrate the beginning of the Chinese New Year also known as the Spring Festival. In 2017 it is a Year of the Rooster. The calculation of a new year is based on a lunisolar calendar that takes the cycles of the moon and the sun into consideration.

The celebrations begin on a New Year's Eve, a day before a new moon, and last till for fifteen days. The holiday ends with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of a new year. This tradition dates back to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-25AD) and symbolizes a truly new beginning as people symbolically are letting go of their old selves.

New Year in any culture means a new beginning and hope, and the Chinese are not different than anybody. For millennia, Chinese astrologers, geomancers, fortune tellers and feng shui masters were devising complicated horoscopes and predicting future in the Middle Kingdom. This tradition is just as vivid throughout the Chinese communities all over the world and is was in China hundreds of years ago.

Personal horoscopes are very complex. They include, among others, the year, the month and the hour of birth. Each year, month and hour has a zodiac animal assigned to it, as well one of the Five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

The Five Elements theory is a very ancient one. It dates back into the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and was described in the Annals of thereof. The theory describes interactions and relationships between things and the five elements constitute the basis for everything in the universe.

The Five Elements theory became very popular in Chinese culture and philosophy. To this day it is applied in the Traditional Chinese Medicine, philosophy, martial arts, geomancy (feng shui), and divination.

Each of the five elements has its own character and association with the aspects of nature such as cardinal direction, time of the year or season, climate, shape, color, taste. These elements also determine the personality, destiny and personal fortune of a person.

Each person is assigned a zodiac animal of the year in which he or she was born. In Chinese astrology there are twelve animal signs. Each sign is associated with one of the Five Elements. The entire cycle lasts sixty years. 2017 is a year of a fire rooster because the current twelve year cycle is in the fire element. This means that the next time the fire rooster appears it will be year 2077. But things get a little more complicated, since the Chinese astrology ascribes elements to each of the animal signs: tiger and rabbit are of the wood element; snake and horse are of fire; ox, dragon, goat, and dog are of earth; monkey and rooster are metal; and the pig and rat are of the earth element.

In Chinese astrology rooster is a very auspicious, luck bringing animal that is associated with hard work, punctuality, sense of duty, competitiveness, bravery, and prosperity. How lucky this year will be for you depends as much on the stars as it does on what you make out of it. Chinese fortune tellers cleverly show us the potentialities and always suggest that we have the power to forge our luck and escape negative correlations.

Whether you celebrate the Chinese New Year or not, this is an occasion to have some good Chinese food, a cup of tea or a glass of plum wine and reflect on you current new year's resolutions. If you did not make any, now you have a chance to focus on your plans.

Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous Year of the Fire Rooster - The Reader

Dominique Allmon@2017


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