Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy Year of the Fire Rooster!

Farewell, Year of the Fire Monkey!  It's now the year of the Fire Rooster.  Al Jazeera English has a report on the festivities in China: Celebrations begin for “Year of the Rooster.”

For many workers in China this time of year means a month long holiday.
Saturday will officially mark the beginning of the Year of the Rooster, under the Chinese zodiac.
Al Jazeera’s Adrian Brown reports from Beijing.
Even the Chinese can't escape Donald Trump, although caricaturing him as a rooster is a response I appreciate.

Follow over the jump for two videos from TED on the Chinese zodiac for the holiday.

First, The Chinese zodiac, explained | ShaoLan.

A quarter of the world's population cares a lot about the Chinese zodiac. Even if you don't believe in it, you'd be wise to know how it works, says technologist and entrepreneur ShaoLan Hseuh. In this fun, informative talk, ShaoLan shares some tips for understanding the ancient tradition and describes how it's believed to influence your personality, career, marriage prospects and how you'll do in a given year. What does your sign say about you.
Next, The myth behind the Chinese zodiac - Megan Campisi and Pen-Pen Chen.

What’s your sign? In Western astrology, it’s a constellation determined by when your birthday falls in the calendar. But according to the Chinese zodiac (生肖), it’s your shuxiang, meaning the animal assigned to your birth year. Of the many myths explaining these animal signs and their arrangement, the most enduring one is that of The Great Race. Megan Campisi and Pen-Pen Chen recounts this classic myth.

Lesson by Megan Campisi and Pen-Pen Chen, animation by Marta Prokopová.
I hope my readers found both videos fun and educational, although my official position on astrology is that it's "bunk, but it's fun bunk" and "fun nonsense that I'm presenting for entertainment purposes only."

Finally, it's time for the greetings I've used again and again.

Mandarin: Gong Xi Fa Cai/Xin Nian Kuai Le
Cantonese: Kung Hei Fat Choi
Hokkien (Fujian/Taiwanese): Kiong Hee Huat Tsai/Sin Ni khòai lok
Simplified Chinese: 恭喜发财 新年快乐
Traditional Chinese: 恭喜發財 新年快樂


  1. It's my year! I'm a fire rooster. Whatever that means. I know age 60 is special, though, because you go back to the same animal and element of your birth year.

    1. I'm an Earth Pig, so I'll be seeing my Chinese birth year return in 2019. By the way, the closest thing in Western astrology would be the Saturn Return, which happens every 29.5 years. Two of those, and the next year your Chinese birth year returns as well. Lovely. Good thing I think astrology is bunk.

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    1. Even if this were in English, I'd delete it because Bitcoin is off topic.