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The Year of the Fire Monkey

Happy Chinese New Year! Kunghei fatchoy! I wish Happiness and prosperity to you all.

Chinese Golden Snub-Nosed Monkeys (source:

Today begins the Year of the Fire Monkey. The monkey is intelligent, smart, wise, curious, energetic, impulsive, inventive, hyperactive, cheeky, strong-minded and vigilant. Fire monkeys are problem solvers and work well within group environments, while retaining their individuality.

Monkeys on E'Mei Mountain in the southwest China province of Sichuan. (Source:

The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and Chinese folklore ascribes each of its 12 years to be associated with an animal. People are influenced by the personality of the animal that rules their birth year. In one legend, Buddha called all the animals of the world to him before he left the earth. The only ones that listened were these 12 animals, so Buddha named a year after each of them in the order that they arrived.

A moustachioed Emperor tamarin sticks its tongue out at Fürth-Erlenbach Mountain Zoo in Fürth, Germany (Source: Imago / Barcroft Media)

Though China officially operates on the international Gregorian calendar, the traditional lunisolar calendar maintains ceremonial significance, and so every year, around the new moon closest to the beginning of spring, Chinese people ring in the beginning of a new annual cycle. This is a chance to honor one’s ancestors and prepare for the good fortune to come.

A young mother snub-nosed monkey and her baby. (Source: Xi Zhinong)

As the Lunar New Year of the Monkey swings into action Monday, fortune tellers foresee 12 months of political and financial turbulence at the hands of the mischievous, unpredictable creature. Hong Kong’s respected feng shui masters expect an incendiary mix as the monkey combines with the fire element, but also say the year ahead will be a boom time for clever innovation and women will be in the ascendant.

Chinese leaf monkey mothers care for their young (source:

The last fire monkey year happened in 1956, when Britain and France invaded Egypt during the Suez Canal crisis, a pivotal event that historians believe marked the demise of British imperial power.


Two young macaques play with each other in Qianling Park of Guiyang, capital city of southwest China's Guizhou Province (source:

While the monkey may bring instability, it could also herald major innovation, as technology falls into the “fire” category. There could be major breakthroughs in solar-powered energy, fire-related technologies, or the Internet.


A man dressed as the legendary Monkey God of Chinese folklore adjusts his mask and prepares before a show (source:


Happy Chinese New Year! Happy Monkday! :_)


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