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Why is 2016 the Year of the Monkey?

Posted by Bruce Li on Friday, February 26th, 2016 | No Comments »

Happy New Year!

2016 is known as a Monkey year according to the Chinese Zodiac. There have been many stories and fables explaining the origin of how the Chinese Zodiac started.

Monkey2016One of the most well told tales, carried over generations, is the legend that the Jade Emperor summoned all of the animals and creatures to come before him prior to his departure to the heaven’s land. However, only 12 animals came to bid him farewell. As a reward to those animals, he named a year after each of them. Since the money was the ninth to arrive, it was therefore placed as the ninth of the 12-year cycle of animals in the Chinese zodiac.

Another less fictitious explanation of the Chinese Zodiac is that since it was originally created to label time periods, for the sake of mnemonic and fun, an animal was assigned to name each of the double-hour period based on the particular behavior of that animal.For instance: Rat represents 23:00 to 00:59 because this is the time people see rats are most active in seeking food. Ox represents 01:00 to 02:59 because this is the time people see oxen begin to chew the cud slowly and comfortably. And the Monkey is 15:00 to 16:59 because this is the time people see monkeys are most lively.

Truthfully, the beginning of the Chinese Zodiac may ever be unknown, but the stories and mystique still carry on.

Bruce Li

Bruce Li

Bruce is Marketing Communications Specialist for Asia in our Shanghai, China office.
Bruce Li

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