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Year of the Monkey considered positive and optimistic

Canada Post unveiled the images on newly-released commemorative stamps celebrating the Year of the Monkey, which begins Feb. 8, 2016 and ends Jan. 27, 2017. The Monkey is the eighth stamp in Canada Post’s 12-year Lunar New Year series, which began with the Ox. -Canada Post

Canada Post unveiled the images on newly-released commemorative stamps celebrating the Year of the Monkey, which begins Feb. 8, 2016 and ends Jan. 27, 2017. The Monkey is the eighth stamp in Canada Post’s 12-year Lunar New Year series, which began with the Ox. -Canada Post

Monday marks the beginning of the Year of the Monkey, said to be a great and auspicious year – but somewhat tumultuous. Monkey years are considered positive and optimistic – especially for entrepreneurs as Monkeys are traditionally considered energetic, inventive, creative and playful. But anything can and will happen – plans unsettled and change certain.

So “Gung Hay Fat Choy” — the traditional Chinese new year’s greeting. Loosely translated, it means “Congratulations, Have a prosperous new year.”

Traditional festivities include setting off firecrackers, spending time with the family, exchanging gifts and, of course, feasting on “lucky foods”. Those who celebrate give their homes a good spring cleaning beforehand because during the New Year festivities period, sweeping is not allowed, because you don’t want to sweep your good luck away.

Serving a whole chicken during the Chinese New Year season symbolizes family togetherness. Noodles represent a long life – superstition says it’s bad luck to cut them. Both clams and spring rolls symbolize wealth. Tangerines and oranges are passed out freely during Chinese New Year. It is customary to serve fish at the end of the evening meal, symbolizing a wish for abundance in the coming year.

In Chinese astrology, the 12 animal zodiac signs each have unique characteristics. If you don’t know your animal sign, use the chart below. NOTE: Those born in January and February: Chinese (Lunar) New Year moves between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. If you were born in January or February, check whether your birth date falls before or after Chinese New Year to know what your Chinese zodiac year is. Or, read the description of the animal of the year before – it may suit you better.

Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
Rat: Intelligent, adaptable, quick-witted, charming, artistic, sociable.

Ox: Loyal, reliable, thorough, strong, reasonable, steady, determined.

Tiger: Enthusiastic, courageous, ambitious, leadership, confidence, charismatic.

Rabbit: Trustworthy, empathic, modest, diplomatic, sincere, sociable, caretakers.

Dragon: Lucky, flexible, eccentric, imaginative, artistic, spiritual, charismatic.

Snake: Philosophical, organized, intelligent, intuitive, elegant, attentive, decisive.

Horse: Adaptable, loyal, courageous, ambitious, intelligent, adventurous, strong.

Sheep: Tasteful, crafty, warm, elegant, charming, intuitive, sensitive, calm.

Monkey: Quick-witted, charming, lucky, adaptable, bright, versatile, lively, smart.

Rooster: Honest, energetic, intelligent, flamboyant, flexible, diverse, confident.

Dog: Loyal, sociable, courageous, diligent, steady, lively, adaptable, smart.

Pig: Honorable, philanthropic, determined, optimistic, sincere, sociable.

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