Whether you're familiar with the Chinese Zodiac or not, you must surely be familiar with the fact that Chinese New Year doesn't happen on January 1st, but rather, follows the lunar calendar.
Much like Easter, CNY takes place on a different date every year, usually in late January or February.
What's With The Animals?
In total, there are 12 different animals of the Chinese Zodiac, and every year is assigned to one of them. The cycle of 12 animals repeats, so whichever animal you were born under will come around every 12 years.
This year, it's the Monkey. If you were born in 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, or 1956, then you're also a monkey! This is generally considered to be a good year for you.
There's a long story behind the order the animals appear, and each animal is also given a certain personality-trait. You can read more about the order of animals here.
What's A Monkey Like?
If you believe in the horoscope and personality-traits being dictated by when you're born, then you're in luck, because the Chinese Zodiac also has this. Monkeys are considered to view life as a series of events, and tend to hop from one to the other. This is in contrast iwth say, the sheep, who plods along slowly and surely.
Does this mean Monkeys never finish anything or suffer from ADHD? Not necessarily, but it means they like to do things quickly and then move on to the next thing.
Of course, it's impossible to suggest that everybody born in these years has exactly the same personality, but what do you think? Does it sound like you?
When Does The Year Of The Monkey Start?
This year, Chinese New Year is Monday, February 8. Most people will be celebrating the actual event on New Year's Eve though, much like the western Dec 31st celebrations.
Therefore, being born in 2016 doesn't necessarily make you a Monkey. You need to be born after February 8 in order to qualify. This also means that anyone born at the start of 2017, before the next Chinese New Year, will also be a monkey.
If you're in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, or any other country with a large Chinese community, be sure to check out the celebrations.