Happy New Year! Today is the day to celebrate one of the world's most ancient calendars still in use today, as a quarter of the world's population consider the Lunar New Year to be the main holiday of the year. According to the Chinese zodiac, this year is the Year of the Fire Monkey, so what does this mean for all of us? Here's a look at your year ahead according to the ancient Chinese wisdom of the 12 animal signs of the zodiac.

Contrary to what we might assume, if you happen to be born on the Year of the Monkey, such as the years 1980, 1992, or 2004, you are actually due for some bad luck coming your way! Unfortunately, Chinese superstition claims that you and your animal offended the Tai Su, the God of Age, on the year of your birth, so dealing with his anger is something you just have to do. But there are ways to appease him! One way to do this, and this will be important for you monkeys, is to make the effort to wear some red. Red is considered to be one of the luckiest colors in Chinese culture, representing prosperity, loyalty, success, and happiness. It can also drive away evil spirits, so any gods offended by you will be sure to stay away! However, there's one important rule you must follow for this red plan to work. You can't buy the red yourself; someone has to buy it for you. 

Another way to avoid an unlucky year is to wear jade accessories, which will also ward off evil. But jade can be quite expensive, which makes wearing red socks a lot more practical for most people wanting to keep the bad vibes away. 

Last but not least, if you face a certain direction, Tai Su, the Age God, will be unable to bring you misfortune. If you actually face the opposite direction he's facing, he will have no choice but to bring you the opposite of misfortune, which happens to be fortune! Many who believe doing this will bring them good luck will adjust furniture and even sleep facing certain directions. So for you monkeys out there, since Tai Su is currently facing southwest, you need to have your furniture and yourself facing northeast most of the time to save yourself from misfortune. Personally, this all sounds like a bit much, so when the Year of the Ox comes around, I think I'll stick to wearing red once in a while.

The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, in order, are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. So what does this year have in store of you? Listed below are what you can expect, no matter what animal you are. Good luck, everybody! And Happy New Year!

Rat (1972, 1984, 1996, 2008): Good work and business opportunities, but beware of exhaustion and of those around you with ulterior motives. Your love life is looking good, but you have to put in the effort.

Ox ( 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009): It's going to be a good year for you! Benefactors will lead you on a path to success in your studies and career. You may even meet the love of your life, and marriage and/or having babies is on the horizon. But make sure to take care of your health.

Tiger (1974, 1986, 1998, 2010): Sorry, nothing exciting for you, going to be a mediocre year. Be cautious in your work life, no short cuts. And make sure to take care of your sweetheart if you want the relationship to last.

Rabbit (1975, 1987, 1999, 2011): Lucky for you, you can expect the best year up ahead! You'll make a lot of money, your work life will blow up, and if you're single, you'll meet a lover who will sweep you off your feet! But don't get carried away, both in money and your health.

Dragon (1976, 1988, 2000, 2012): Challenging year, but if you persevere, you will overcome. Just lay low, and wait for better days. Those in relationships may have some problems brought on by involved families.

Snake(1977, 1989, 2001, 2013): You can look forward to an excellent year! Work life and love life will be awesome. The only thing you have to worry about is minor accidents that may happen, but no big deal.

Horse (1978, 1990, 2002, 2014): Unfortunately, this year is going to suck, but remember there's nothing you can't handle! Watch and save your money. If you're looking for romance, you just have to be patient. Maintain balance in your health. There's always next year!

Goat (1979, 1991, 2003, 2015): A positive year for you, with work and love looking like they'll be an an upswing. Time to enjoy your life. But as always, be cautious with your health and well-being, as accidents or illness may occur.

Monkey (1968, 1980, 1992, 2004): It's your year, so as mentioned above, be careful. Watch your money and get plenty of rest. Take care of whatever relationships you may have and watch your temper if something doesn't go your way. And make sure to wear red!

Rooster (1969, 1981, 1993, 2005): You'll have a pretty decent year. You'll see success in school and work, but don't get carried away. Health is looking good, and if you're single, you may even find yourself a partner.

Dog (1970, 1982, 1994, 2006): This will not be an ideal year for you. Be cautious in all matters, especially work and wealth. You will be overwhelmed with things to take care of in your everyday life, so appreciate any romantic partner, whether a potential or existing one. 

Pig (1971, 1983, 1995, 2007): Decent year, and possibly extra lucky for women. Money is looking good for all. One important thing, don't let emotions get in the way of matters, especially relationships. All potential lovers are a no-go.

So there you have it. As for me, it says I will have work success which will be facilitated by a benefactor, I'll fall in love, have a baby, but I should watch my health. Sounds like 2016 is going to be a pretty interesting year for me!

Hope you all have a good one, too.


Neighborhood Hero

Starring Park Shi Hoo and Kwon Yu Ri

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