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Year of the Earth OxPosted Wednesday, January 21, 2009, at 11:42 AM
The Chinese invented many wonderful things, such as dynamite, fortune cookies and Chinese food.
They also invented astrology. In fact, the Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history.
Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the zodiac in 2600 BC. As with other supreme rulers of his era, he had a lot of time on his hands and was eager to impress his subjects with his superior knowledge.
The first day of the Chinese New Year is celebrated at the second new moon after the winter solstice which can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February, depending on cyclical lunar conditions.
The Chinese lunar year is divided into 12 months of 29 or 30 days. Each 12-year cycle is then positioned within a major cycle of 60 years (five 12-month cycles) representing the characteristics of each upcoming year.
Chinese astrology is basically composed of two cycles -- 12 annual animal cycles and 5 two-year element cycles. The 12 annual animals are Dog, Boar, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey and Rooster. The five element cycles, each lasting two years, are fire, earth, metal, water and wood.
In 2009, the Chinese New Year starts on January 26. The Year of the Fire Boar will end and the Year of the Earth Ox will be ushered in.
Celebrations will last for 15 days, until the full moon arrives and the Lantern Festival takes place.
The Year of the Earth Ox will consist of dependability, steadiness and stability. The sort of plodding energy that can be exasperating. But progress will be made, slowly in small increments. You must remain patient and make the most of your energy.
Oxen place great emphasis on authority and tradition. Therefore, 2009 will be an especially heavy burden on leaders who will be confronted with society's problems. If they fail, they'll be cast aside. Substance is always preferable to style in the Year of the Ox.
The Year of the Earth Ox will be a time of financial restraint. The Earth element places great emphasis on the material plane. Saving will be more important than spending. Everyone will be tightening their belts.
The Year of the Earth Ox is a fabulous year to get engaged or married, provided you're with someone you love. The Ox favors work over play. No flings.
A person born this year will be born in the Year of the Ox. Ox-born people are powerful, successful, stubborn, self-assured, quiet, and good with their hands. They also anger easily, and are often misunderstood in relationships.
Other Ox-born people were born in 1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985 and 1997. Included in this group are Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Paul Newman, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Johnny Carson, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Bill Cosby, Jane Fonda, George Clooney, Princes Diana and Barack Obama
I was born during the Year of the Monkey. According to the Chinese astrology, I am certain to be very intelligent, well liked by everyone and highly successful in whatever field of endeavor I choose.
Apparently, Chinese astrology isn't an exact science.
But two out of three isn't bad.
Quote for the Day -- "To have little is to possess.... To have plenty is to be perplexed." Lao Tzu
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.