The Dawn of Another Chinese New Year: Cock-a-doodle-doo to 2017!

ching bioBy Qin Sun Stubis

(originally published in The Santa Monica Star)

With the arrival of every new solar year comes another Chinese lunar one: Starting at the end of January, it’s the Year of the Rooster. So, cock-a-doodle-doo to all my readers, whether or not you were born with feathers.

You may know that the Chinese zodiac boasts a cycle of 12 birth animals, called sengxiao (生肖), starting with the rat, and moving on to the ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Together, they represent the entire world of people with all their different traits and personalities, and provide us with reasons why some of us just don’t get along.

Many Chinese take their zodiac sign seriously. According to some ancient cultural beliefs, for an instance, a dragon always fights with a tiger, and a rooster disagrees with a dog. In other words, some birth animals are destined to be archrivals and people born in those years should be kept apart.

Since each animal’s sign only comes around every 12 years, some fastidious parents often make plans way in advance to ensure that their children will be born in a particular year with a birth animal to match their own and make a happy family.

In the old days in China, the zodiac powered match-making, pairing couples to promote harmony, health and wealth, regardless of their age differences or whether they were attracted to each other. Many met for the first time only at their own wedding ceremony.

These days, most young Chinese pursue their own happiness and find their own loves. The curse of a disagreeable zodiac sign no longer dooms a relationship. This generation puts more emphasis on the positive traits of each and every birth animal, and less on their relations to one another.

Every sign has its good points. Roosters, for example, are known to be impossibly loyal to their family and friends, and they have an impeccable sense of time: Just think about how they crow every morning just at dawn! Their red combs and fancy feathers also earn them the fine reputation of being attractive and sharp dressers.

In addition, those born in a rooster year are often thought to be gentle, thoughtful, responsible and romantic. If you know anyone born in 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, or 2017, don’t forget to wish them a Happy Rooster Year!

You can always reach me at qstubis@gmail.com.

 

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