Happy new year! This is a light-hearted article from the Vancouver Sun Newspaper.
Mods: I can’t post this as a link as it’s a password-required website.
[quote]VANCOUVER - If you follow the Chinese zodiac, you may want to put off any wedding plans this year.
That’s because 2005 is the Year of the Rooster, one of the most fickle signs on the Chinese zodiac and a bad omen for marriage, say members of Vancouver’s Chinese community.
“People should stay away from marriage in the Year of the Rooster. It is a bad influence on marriages,” says Martin Ma, owner of the Chinese Zodiac gift shop in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Ma is busy selling zodiac-related gifts and good-luck charms in the lead up to the Chinese new year, which begins Wednesday.
He says that while it will be a good year to make business decisions and investments, it is not a zodiac sign that favours weddings and family affairs.
“People who want to get married this year, should hold their wedding ceremony before Chinese New Year’s. If they don’t get married by the new year, then they should wait until 2006, the Year of the Dog,” Ma said.
Chinese new year is the major holiday of the Chinese calendar, says Lian Wong, an administrator with the Chinese Cultural Centre in Richmond.
Wong adds that members of Greater Vancouver’s Chinese community will be out in force to celebrate with a parade in Chinatown on Feb. 13, the first Sunday of the new year.
“It is the big festivity of the year for the Chinese,” says Wong.
In Canada’s 2001 national census, 342,665 people living in Greater Vancouver declared themselves to be Chinese. That represents about 18 per cent of Greater Vancouver’s 1.97 million residents.
Businesses in Chinatown report an upsurge in activity in the lead up to Chinese new year.
“At Chinese new year, business is always busier,” said Ying C. Lung, manager of Dragons Martial Arts Supplies, which sells lion heads used in traditional dances to celebrate Chinese new year for $200 apiece.
There are 12 animal symbols on the Chinese zodiac, ranging from the tiger to the rat and the dragon to the goat. Each symbol foretells a different year ahead.
The rooster is one of the more difficult years in which to make plans. And according to the zodiac calendar, 2005 is the Year of the Green Wooden Rooster, making it an especially strange year.
Green is both the colour of wealth and youth in Chinese culture, meaning 2005 should be a positive year for investments and young people.
Wood is a symbol for practicality and diligence, making this year good for business decisions and achieving work-related goals.
Also, the rooster is a fertile bird. While 2005 may not be a good year to get married, it should favour people who become pregnant or plan to have children.
However, with the rooster being a bird, it is bad luck to eat chicken or turkey during the coming year, bringing a bad omen on consumers, astrologers say.
“The zodiac is closely followed by Chinese people. Most people are very aware of the year they were born and the sign they were born under, because they believe this will affect their future in some way,” Ma said.
Tony Szeto, owner of Arista, a store that sells traditional Chinese art work, says many people in the Chinese community are well aware of the rooster and what it means for the year ahead.
“The rooster lays lots of eggs, so it is a good year for fertility and having lots of children and grandchildren,” he says, adding, “The rooster is a healthy, lively bird because it wakes everyone up. It is a good symbol for a long, healthy life. If your zodiac sign is the rooster, then you’re in luck this year.”
People born in the Year of the Rooster – 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921, 1909 – are said to be brave, motivated, stubborn, blunt and boastful. They are also thought to be diligent, capable, devoted, and a bit eccentric.[/quote]