I am pregnant and am expecting a little boy in April, who will be born in the Year of the Monkey – the Year of the Fire Monkey, actually! Normally, I don’t think much of Zodiac signs, but after living in San Francisco for many years, I have come to love the Chinese traditions of red envelopes and tangerines and to embrace the celebrations of the Chinese New Year. So, I had to find out what being born in the Year of the Fire Monkey was all about.
Monkeys are curious creatures; we all remember Curious George, a household favorite. They are also clever, and so it is said that those born this year will too be clever and intelligent. Check! They are also flexible, versatile, honest, and gentle. This all sounds great to me, but what are the weaknesses? I soon found that those born this year may be jealous, selfish and arrogant. Because these Monkeys are so curious and clever, they also get themselves into trouble, just like our friend George! Oh, no!
In Chinese Zodiac tradition, there are 12 animal signs – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig – as well as five elements: Fire, Wood, Water, Gold, and Earth. The fire element means that my little Monkey will be ambitious and adventurous, but also irritable at times.
After digging a little deeper, I found that Monkeys are usually healthy because they are so active. They tend to gravitate toward careers in banking, accounting, and science, which seems pretty fitting given that Dad has a degree in business and finance, and I have a degree in microbiology. For love, my son should look for an Ox or Rabbit. I have to admit, I was secretly hoping he would be compatible with a Dog (that’s what I am). You know, so he could marry someone just like his mom!
Whether you a true believer or not, embrace the traditions that surround our city today! Enjoy your little Monkeys, Dogs, Rabbits, or whatever you have at home, and celebrate all the qualities that make them who they are. Gung Hay Fat Choy!