The Chinese invented many things, including paper, metallurgy, the compass, fortune cookies, Kung Fu and dynamite. They also invented astrology. In fact, the Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history.
According to Chinese astrology, 2011 is the Year of the Metal Rabbit.
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 2011, the Chinese New Year starts on February 3. The Year of the Metal Tiger will end and the Year of the Metal Rabbit will be ushered in. Celebrations will last for 15 days, until the full moon arrives and the Lantern Festival takes place.
The Rabbit is a symbol of sensitivity, compassion and creativity. Rabbit-born people thrive on business dealings. For them, the Year 2011 will yield much professional success and personal happiness.
A person born this year will be born in the Year of the Metal Rabbit. Rabbit-born people are charismatic, thoughtful, calm, gentle, sympathetic, fashionable, persistent and extremely shrewd in business dealings.
Other Rabbit-born people were born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987 and 1999. Included in this group are Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Angeline Jolie, Frank Sinatra and Albert Einstein
I was born during the Year of the Wood 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.
Obviously, Chinese astrology isn't an exact science.
Quote for the Day -- "When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead... and the White Knight is talking backwards and the Red Queen's 'off with her head'... remember what the dormouse said... feed your head... feed your head." (WHITE RABBIT lyrics by Grace Slick)
Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where falling down a rabbit hole is as easy as falling off a log. His blogs appear on several websites, including www.myspace.com/bret1111