Chinese New Year for 2018 is on the 16th of February: 2018 Year of the Dog.
Please note that the Chinese New Year is based on the cycle of the moon. Therefore, each Chinese New Year falls on different dates, from mid-January to mid-February.
Upcoming Chinese New Year dates:
2019: Feb 5
2020: Jan 25
2021: Feb 12
2022: Feb 1
Lunar New Year on Friday February 16 is calculated as the day after the second New Moon after the winter solstice. In Chinese astrology, each year contains one of five planetary elements (fire/Mars, Water/Mercury, wood/Jupiter, earth/Saturn and metal/Venus) and is named after one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. Using this system, 2018 is the Year of the Earth Dog. With such a loyal and trustworthy animal in a stable element, it looks like an Earth Dog year is just the thing to bring some calm back into our lives.
As Chinese Astrology is one of the oldest types of Astrology, the origins of naming the years after animals is unknown. But a popular legend is that Buddha (c.563-c.483 B.C) invited all the animals to visit him, and as a demonstration of thanks to those who came, he dedicated a year to each of the animals according to the order in which they arrived: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
Today Chinese astrology is used to examine personality characteristics and finding the best matches for family, friends and relationships. Your year of birth indicates an aspect of a sixty-year phase. Three systems are employed to classify and count the years. The ten Heavenly Stems, the twelve Earthy Branches and the twelve Animals. The exact origin of the twelve Animals is unknown, although it is thought that Jade King, bored in heaven, desired to see a sample of twelve animals on earth.
Your Chinese Astrology Sign
|Sheep / Goat||1931||1943||1955||1967||1979||1991||2003||2015|
12 Animal Signs in Chinese Astrology (Shenxiao)
Known as the charmer, the Rat is sure to be welcomed by any crowd. Insecurity can affect Rats’ actions and decisions, but is firm when it comes to family and is a stickler for detail. Best matches are Ox, Dragon, and Monkey. The Rat is also a match to Dog, Goat, Snake, Pig, Tiger, and another Rat.
Corresponding star sign Sagittarius
Positive Traits hard worker, ambitious and charming
Negative Traits Critical and Possessive
Most compatible with Dragon, Ox and Monkey
The Ox or Buffalo is known to be a stubborn but scrupulous beast. Patient and very meticulous, they are self-reliant and find it difficult to ask for and receive assistance. Best matches are Rat, Rooster, Pig, and Snake. The Ox is also a match to Tiger, Monkey, Dragon, Rabbit, and another Ox.
Corresponding star sign Capricorn
Positive Traits Responsible and respectful
Negative Traits Stubborn and narrow minded
Most compatible with Rat, Rooster and Snake
Confident and with a zest for life, the Tiger is an adventure-seeker. Tigers are good at seeing problems and are, therefore, mostly successful with their chosen career. Best matches are Pig, Dog, Rabbit, Horse, and Rooster. The Tiger is also a match to Goat, Rat, Ox, Dragon, Snake, and another Tiger.
Corresponding star sign Aquarius
Positive Traits passionate, generous
Negative Traits Hostile and impatient
Most compatible with Dogs, Horses and Dragons
Sensitive and very creative, Rabbits have a natural fondness for all things beautiful. They have a tendency to shut out the harsh realities of the world due to an aversion to suffering. Best matches are Dog, Pig, Tiger, and Goat. The Rabbit is also a match to Snake, Monkey, Ox, Dragon, Horse, and another Rabbit.
Corresponding star sign Pisces
Positive Traits Discreet and sophisticated
Negative Traits Moody and faltering
Most compatible with Pig, Dog and Sheep
A testament to their strong personality, Dragons are known to be brutally honest, even if inappropriate at times. They also value freedom and are averse to any form of routine. Best matches are Rooster, Monkey, Rat, Goat, and Snake. The Dragon is also a match to Tiger, Pig, Ox, Rabbit, Horse, and another Dragon.
Corresponding star sign Aries
Positive Traits Magnetic and lively
Negative Traits Dominating and fickle
Most compatible with Monkey, Rooster and Snake
Snakes have a tendency to make decisions based solely on intuition, and as such, are known as great thinkers and philosophers. They value their own counsel and, more often than not, shun unsolicited advice, even from close friends and loved ones. Best matches are Monkey, Rooster, Ox, and Dragon. The Snake is also a match to Rabbit, Horse, Tiger, Goat, Dog, Rat, and another Snake.
Corresponding star sign Taurus
Positive Traits Sophisticated and diplomatic
Negative Traits Jealous and lazy
Most compatible with Rooster and Ox
Horses are industrious, independent people who are well-liked by most due to their ability to both work and play hard. They are generally laid-back and easy-going but direct and straightforward when need be. Best matches are Goat, Dog, and Tiger. The Horse is also a match to Dragon, Monkey, Rooster, Pig, Rabbit, Snake, and another Horse.
Corresponding star sign Gemini
Positive Traits Passionate and creative
Negative Traits Impatient and careless
Most compatible with Sheep, Dogs and Tigers
Goat / Sheep
Gentleness and compassion are the main characteristics for which Sheep are known. Known to the Chinese as the harbingers of peace, their main goal is to maintain harmony and resolve conflict. Best matches are Horse, Rabbit, Pig, and Dragon. The Sheep is also a match to Monkey, Snake, Rooster, Rat, Dog, Tiger, and another Sheep.
Corresponding star sign Cancer
Positive Traits Genuine and thoughtful
Negative Traits Negative and reckless
Most compatible with Horses, Pigs and Rabbits
Hardworking and very organised, Roosters are considered an asset in business. Although headstrong and a bit arrogant, they are, by nature, conservative and old-fashioned. Best matches are Dragon, Ox, Tiger, Pig, and Snake. The Rooster is also a match to Dog, Goat, Monkey, Horse, and another Rooster.
Corresponding star sign Virgo
Positive Traits Communicative and moral
Negative Traits Selfish and egotistical
Most compatible with Snake, Dragon and Ox
Naturally mischievous and with little respect for authority, Monkeys often find themselves in unpleasant situations. They are, however, charming and blessed with great intelligence, giving them the ability to solve complex problems. Best matches are Snake, Rat, and Dragon. The Monkey is also a match to Horse, Goat, Ox, Pig, Rooster, Rabbit, Dog, and another Monkey.
Corresponding star sign Leo
Positive Traits Witty and Smart
Negative Traits Scheming and unreliable
Most compatible with Rat and Dragon
Idealists by heart, Dogs are loyal, caring creatures. They are often seen promoting social reform due to their sense of fairness and equality. Best matches are Rabbit, Tiger, Horse, and Pig. The Dog is also a match to Rat, Snake, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, and another Dog.
Corresponding star sign Capricorn
Positive Traits Honest, intelligent, loyal and straightforward
Negative Traits Cynical, lazy and judgmental
Most compatible with Rabbits, Tigers and Horses
Although strong and straightforward, Pigs are known peace-lovers, enjoying the quiet life. Despite its unpleasant reputation in the West, the Pig is highly regarded by the Chinese. Best matches are Tiger, Rabbit, Rooster, Goat, Ox, and Dog. The Dog is also a match to Monkey, Dragon, Rat, Horse, and another Pig.
Corresponding star sign Scorpio
Positive Traits Sensual and generous
Negative Traits Selfpitying and hot headed
Most compatible with Sheep and Rabbits
The 5 Elements or Wu Xing
Although Wu Xing is usually translated as the ‘five elements’, the Chinese word Xing, however, literally means something like ‘changing states of being’, ‘permutations’ or ‘metamorphoses of being’.
Also named the Five Movements, Five Phrases or Five Steps, the 5 elements in daily life were regarded as the foundation of everything in the universe and natural phenomena, with its own characters and which can generate or destroy one other.
According to ancient Chinese people, they believed that the world was created in those five elements. And those five elements have a very complicated interactive relationship.
The 5 Elements and their Characteristics are:
1.Metal, or jin – Righteousness, symbolizes the life span, longevity or abortion, foretelling any penalties, dangers, difficulties, intuition and dead end. It shows emotions of melancholy and romance.
2.Wood, or mu – Benevolence, represents the fate, sensitivity, lowliness or nobleness, representing extractive, luxuriant, brilliant, blooming, flourishing etc. Wood person is said to be expansive, outgoing and socially conscious.
3.Water, or shui – Wisdom, represents the talent, sage or fool, representing aptitude, brightness, agile mind, spontaneity and accuracy
4.Fire, or huo – Propriety, pronounces creativity, strength or softness, representing power, influence, bravery and intense as well as passionate, impatient and ebullient by nature.
5.Earth, or tu – Fidelity/Honesty, pronounces the status, rich or poor, representing the birth and growth and clarity of everything.
The 5 Elements are calculated by your birth year, month, day and time (precisely in hours).
Shenxiao (animal signs) and Wu xing (5 elements) Integration
There is a relationship between Wuxing and Shenxiao. Each of the 12 Shenxiao signs belongs to its main Wu Xing attribution and then are tempered by each of the Wu Xing.
The 5 Wuxing Attribution of the 12 Shenxiao Signs
Each of the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs (Shenxiao) has their own Wu Xing attributions namely:
The Theory of Expansion in Five Elements (Wu Xing) in Chinese Astrology
In fact, there is quite a difference between the Chinese astrology meaning and view of the ‘element’ from that of Western concept.
In Western astrology, there are only four elements: fire, earth, air and water, which were seen as the basic building blocks of matter. On the other hand, the Chinese astrology believed in 5 ‘elements’: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, which were seen as the basic substances of the material world according to the ‘Theory of the Five Elements’, which are ever changing and moving forces or energies.
According to the Chinese views, the attributes and properties of the Western and Indian air element are described to equal to that of the Wood element, where the element of Ether is usually viewed as a corresponding Metal.
It is also believed that there is a balance of yin and yang and the five elements, which are being in constant move and cyclical change (phases), in a person’s make-up and this balance will have a major impact on what is beneficial and effective for them in terms of feng shui, the Chinese form of geomancy. This is so due to the fact that there is a link between each element to a particular direction and season, and their different kinds of qì or life force.
Expansion of Theory of Five Elements
In the Expansion of Theory of Five Elements, it believed of the doctrine of five phases, which describes two cycles, a generating or creation (sheng) cycle, also known as “mother-son”, and an overcoming or destruction (kè) cycle, also known as “grandfather-nephew”, of interactions between the phases.
The Generating Cycle
In this cycle, it is believed that one element (which serves as parent) enriches, nourishes, strengthens, promotes growth and development of the following element (which serves as child).
In this cycle, the order the phases are:
- Wood feeds Fire;
- Fire creates Earth (ash);
- Earth bears Metal;
- Metal carries Water (as in a bucket or tap, or water condenses on metal);
- Water nourishes Wood
This means that (Interpretation):
- The Wood element is the supporting element of Fire, which in turn can release the power of Wood.
- The Fire is the supporting element of Earth, which in turn can release the power of Fire.
- The Earth is the supporting element of Metal, which in turn can release the power of Earth.
- The Metal is the supporting element of Water, which in turn can release the power of Metal.
- The Water is the supporting element of Wood, which in turn can release the power of Water.
The Controlling Cycle
Also known as Grandparent – Grandchild relationship. This is said to be the controlling cycle that provides for a check and balance system among all of the elements.
In the controlling or destructing cycle, there is one element that suppresses, controls, dominates, overcomes, weakens another element, preventing it from establishing its power.
In this cycle:
- The Wood parts or can break the ground (Earth).
- The Earth can soak up Water, blocking its flow.
- Water can control Fire.
- Fire melts Metal;
- Metal can chop Wood.
Interrelation of the Cycles
Sheng and Ke Cycle
This cycle generates a feedback system, which keeps the system/ body/ universe in balance; thus, ensuring that each element is connected with the other four elements.
In this cycle, the Wood restrains Earth, but at the same time, the Earth promotes Metal, which then restrains the Wood, making sure that Wood does not restrain Earth too excessivley.
This the Controling- Weakening cycle or Ke and Wu cycle which is said to represent a conflicting (fighting) aspect.
In this cycle:
- The Wood can break the ground (Earth), but Earth can bury Wood, too.
- The Earth can absorb Water, but Water can cover the land (Earth).
- The Water can extinguish Fire, but Fire might evaporate Water.
- The Fire can melt Metal, but Metal might not melt before Fire is extinguished.
- The Metal can cut Wood, but Metal might become dull before breaking Wood.
Wu and Cheng cycle
In this cycle, if any of the elements are over abundant, they can disrupt the balance of the circle.
A Back Glimpse at the Chinese Zodiac
Nothing in specific could the answer be when asked why they get hooked with horoscope reading and the like. Walking along downtown China, one could sense the spirit of a well retained cultural heritage attached way back centuries ago. Along the streets are sumptuous food, china wares, dry goods and even shops like psychic reading. As the year unfolds, each coming year would always be associated with Chinese characters that stand to represent the year. These characters determine and are interpreted to gage how the year would be…. struggling or on its top.
The long and winding Chinese Zodiac fad can be traced dating from 2637 B.C. When it’s first cycle was introduced. It takes 60 years to complete the cycle, and each is made up of five cycles of twelve years each. The 78th will end on February 2044, it started on February 1984. For each of the twelve years, a specific animal is assigned to it. Legend says that, Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from earth. Only the twelve, came to bid him goodbye. To reward the animals, he named a year after each one in the order that it arrived. The order is as follows; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. According to ancient beliefs, the animal that rules in the year to which they are born has a profound influence on their life.
Five main elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water is combined with each of the animal signs during the complete 60-year cycle. What exercises influence on once life is the element of the lunar sign.
A primal part of Oriental philosophy is the relationships among the five elements. These are divided into Conducive and Controlling interrelationships, and are as follows:
We get water from metal. This implies that metal could be a container or any vessel for holding water. Corollarily, we can say that metal catches water. One idea to be deducted, is the feature of metal as the only element changeable into liquid when heated.
Woods existence can be attributed from water. The water in this sense is the dew or rain that enables plants to grow into life, thus it produce wood. In order to produce fire, wood is necessary. Fire cannot independently exist and necessitates the existence of burning wood. Ashes comes from the remnants of fire which becomes part of the earth again. It can be gainsaid that from fire we get earth.
For metal to exist, it must be extracted from the earth, thus from earth we get metal.
The existence of the five elements are interdependent of each other and each is controlled by another. It is thus presumed that;
Since metal can be forged or melted with heat. Metal is controlled by Fire. Water is the only means to put out fire easily, thus it can be concluded that fire is controlled by water. Water is controlled by Earth. Canals are dug in the earth to irrigate fields or construct dikes to keep out or absorb water. Earth is dominated by Wood. Trees and their roots hold the soil together and get their food from the earth. Wood is controlled by Metal. Even the largest tree can be felled by the metal blade of an Axe.
Anchored form the interpretations, Luna or the moon being the closest heavenly body on earth has shown visible power to man since the dawn of man’s existence.
The interrelation of these elements and beliefs as apart of human existence drives mankind to continuously attached to this belief. Reliance to its implication to ones living has been looked after since time immemorial. Man’s innate character to be connected with natural phenomena explains the continuous patronage and belief with signs.
As far as Chinese Zodiac Signs crazes is concern, there is nothing wrong with believing. Time tested passed from generation s to generations made it more intriguing and interesting.
The interest to divulge what concerns the forthcoming year with Elements and Chinese Zodiacs is just a natural and spontaneous reaction of humans. As long as we are living, we get crazy over anything. Crazy but sane.