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6 Facts on the Year of the Monkey You Should Know

Monkey - Chinese Zodiac Signs

2016 is a year of the Monkey, according to the Chinese Zodiac cycle. Here are six simple facts about the year of the Monkey that you should know:

1. It Occurs Once in a Cycle of 12-Years

In Chinese culture, the Monkey ranks in 9th place of the 12 animals in the Zodiac. A Monkey year happens every 12 years, for example, previous Monkey years have included 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 and now in 2016.Click here to find out more on the Year of the Monkey.

2. The Year of the Monkey Doesn't Start on January 1st

A Monkey year begins on Chinese New Year's Day and ends on the last day before the following Chinese New Year (2017 will be a Rooster year). However, the Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, the starting dates of each Monkey year are different.

In 2016, New Year's Day is on February 8th, while in 2028,the next Monkey year will start on January 26th. Learn more on The Chinese Calendar.

3. An Unlucky Year for Monkeys

A year of the Monkey is believed to be an unlucky year for people whose birth sign is the Monkey. According to Chinese astrology, in their Zodiac year people are believed to offend Tai Sui, the God of Age, bringing nothing but bad luck.

With this in mind, according to folklore, those born in a year of the Monkey should be more careful in Zodiac year 2016. This includes taking caution across a range of aspects, including fortune, career health, and love. Learn more on Monkeys' Fortune, Career, Health, and Love Prospects in 2016.

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4. Five Types of Monkey— 2016 is a Fire Monkey Year

According to the Chinese zodiac and Chinese Five Element Theory, each year is associated with one of five elements (Gold, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth) as well as an animal. This means that there are five types of Monkey year, and Monkey years of each element come once in a 60-year cycle with their own characteristics.

2016 is a Fire Monkey year, which will not be seen again until 2076.

You can learn more about it here: Descriptions and Tips for Monkeys of Different Elements.

5. New Year Decorations Featuring the Monkey

paper cuttingA paper cutting featuring the monkey

Almost every family in China will put up New Year decorations before New Year's Day comes. In a year of the Monkey, decorations featuring monkeys can be seen everywhere, including households, shopping malls, parks, and streets. Decorations are generally in the form of paper cuttings, New Year paintings, couplets, etc.

Learn more on Chinese New Year Decorations.

6. New Year Greetings Featuring the Monkey

During the Chinese New Year period, people usually greet each other with auspicious words to express their best wishes. Such favorable wishes are also commonly made through phone calls, the sending of cell phone messages or emails and in New Year cards.

Chinese new year

In a year of the Monkey, most greetings usually feature the use of the word 'monkey' (猴). See below:

  • I wish you lots of luck for this Monkey year. 祝你猴年大吉。
  • May your work go smoothly in this Monkey year. 祝你猴年工作顺利。
  • I wish you great fortune this Monkey year. 祝你猴年发大财。
  • I wish you the  leisure and wealth of monkey-kind this Monkey year. 祝你猴年悠闲富贵似猴子。

Learn more on Chinese New Year Greetings.

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