Thursday, February 07, 2008

Three Monkeys an Ox and a Dragon

Happy New Year! Chinese New Year, that is. It is now the year of the Rat. As I type this little ditty my eyes are drawn to the red and gold Good Luck Lion marionette that hangs in the corner of my room. It was given to us by a close family member named Bat Monkey and it was from New York’s Chinatown celebration last year. The Lion has done well warding off evil the in the Evil Chicken home during the last twelve months and I, for one, hope that he doesn’t come with an expiration date.

As a project to do with the kids we researched Chinese New Year by finding the authentic dates of our particular signs. As it turns out (thanks to Wikipedia, my favorite second brain) one of our member’s (Mother Hen) switched astronomical signs. For years, according the placemats of a hundred Chinese Restaurants; she was listed as a “Cock” or a “Rooster”. Well, imagine my surprise when after seeing this: I scrolled down to her birth year and was rocked by what the months reveled. She missed being a “Rooster” by a matter of three days – she is firmly entwined in “Monkey” territory.

How had this happened? I wasn’t even aware that we were living a lie. Fortunately Wikipedia is there to instruct and enlighten,“…if a person was born in January 1970, his or her element would still be Yin Earth, not Yang Metal. Similarly, although 1990 was called the year of the horse, anyone born from January 1 to January 26, 1990 was in fact born in the Year of the Snake (the sign of the previous year), because the 1990 Year of the Horse did not begin until January 27, 1990. For this reason, many online sign calculators (and Chinese restaurant place mats) will give a person the wrong sign if he/she was born in January or early February.”

How about that? For the last 17 years we have been living under the idea that one of the Founding Members of our family has been a completely different Chinese Astrological sign. It’s quite disconcerting.

The Chinese, however don’t stop there, oh no; there are also elemental influances; for instance Mother Hen and I are “Earth Monkeys” while our oldest daughter Chick 1.0 is a “Golden Monkey”. Our middle child, Chick 2.0, is a “Fire Ox” and Chick 3.0 is a “Golden Dragon”.

Don’t trust your placemat? I don’t blame you. Check out the above Wiki link, scroll down to the year and between the months you were born and Bada-Bing; there’s the gory details.

Happy New Year!

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