Happy Chinese New Year 2016 – The Year of the Monkey   14 comments

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1-CNY Photoshoot Esplanade 001Happy Chinese New Year 2016 – The Year of the Monkey

As a Malaysian of Chinese descent, our family also celebrate Chinese New Year today – Monday. 8th February, 2016. In Malaysia, today and tomorrow are public holidays for the general public. School is closed for a week. As we are going down to Weld Quay, George Town, Penang I happen to see these decorations at the Esplanade field so these are the resulting photographs which I shot in 15 minutes flat. Hope you all like these shots. The Chinese Zodiac Animals are probably the theme of this lantern display.

SP Lim

The Monkey (猴) is the ninth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Monkey is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 申.

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This is the Chinese Zodiac Animal sign of the blogger.
The Rabbit (卯) is the fourth in the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Rabbit is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 卯.

In the Vietnamese zodiac, the cat takes the place of the Rabbit.

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From Wikipedia:-

The Shēngxiào literally “birth likeness”, is also known in English as the Chinese zodiac. Zodiac derives from the similar concept in western astrology and means “circle of animals”. It is a scheme and systematic plan of future action that relates each year to an animal and its reputed attributes according to a 12-year mathematical cycle. It remains popular in several East Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and Mongolia. ( Malaysia Chinese too )

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The zodiac traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat. The following are the twelve zodiac signs (each with its associated Earthly Branch) in order and their characteristics.

1. Rat – 鼠 (子) (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Water)
2. Ox – 牛 (丑) (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Water)
3. Tiger – 虎 (寅) (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Wood)
4. Rabbit – 兔 or 兎 (卯) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Wood)
5. Dragon – 龍 / 龙 (辰) (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Wood)
6. Snake – 蛇 (巳) (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Fire)
7. Horse – 馬 / 马 (午) (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Fire)
8. Goat – 羊 (未) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Fire)
9. Monkey – 猴 (申) (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Metal)
10. Rooster – 雞 / 鸡 (酉) (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Metal)
11. Dog – 狗 / 犬 (戌) (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Metal)
12. Pig – 豬 / 猪 (亥) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Water)

In Chinese astrology the animal signs assigned by year represent what others perceive you as being or how you present yourself. It is a common misconception that the animals assigned by year are the only signs and many western descriptions of Chinese astrology draw solely on this system. In fact, there are also animal signs assigned by month (called inner animals), by day (called true animals) and hours (called secret animals).

While a person might appear to be a Dragon because they were born in the year of the Dragon, they might also be a Snake internally, an Ox truly, and a Goat secretively.

Inserted by SP Lim

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Problems with English translation

Due to confusion with synonyms during translation, some of the animals depicted by the English words did not exist in ancient China. For example, 羊 can mean ram, sheep or Goat. Similarly, 鼠 (Rat) can also be translated as mouse, as there are no distinctive words for the two genera in Chinese. Further, 豬 (Pig) is sometimes translated to boar after its Japanese name, and 牛 plainly means cow or Ox, and not water buffalo, 水牛. 雞 (Rooster) may mean chicken, hen or cock. However, Rooster is the most commonly used one among all the synonyms, same for 羊, 鼠, etc.

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14 responses to “Happy Chinese New Year 2016 – The Year of the Monkey

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  1. Very interesting. And Happy New Year for you and your family ! May it be a good year !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. However, these are internal problems as Malaysia is an exporter of oil and also palm oil.


  3. Happy New Year to you and your family


  4. Happy New Year


  5. What a delightful celebration! Happy Chinese New Year!! I remember I used to get ang pow from my aunties and uncles when celebrating it in Indonesia 🙂


  6. A blessed new year to you all, Lim Soo Peng!


  7. Interesting stuff. Happy New Year.


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