Along with all the celebrations and festivities during Lunar New Year, many Chinese families and individuals will also look into their fortune and relevant auspicious dates for the upcoming year. I remember going through my grandma’s Chinese Almanac (“tong sheng” or “Tung Shing” 通勝) when I was younger and being really fascinated with the fact that this calendar exists to mark the more favourable dates for life events like weddings, travel and moving homes. As I grew older, I started getting into the habit of looking into my fortune every year especially to find out if there’s some impending bad luck ahead.
If you’re also interested in reading up on your zodiac fortune, here are a few things to look out for:
Figuring out your zodiac animal. There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac including the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. These animals were selected based on a mythical legend where the Jade Emperor from the Heavens hosted a race and the first 12 animals to cross the finish line would be named one of the zodiac animals, each representing a year. To find out your zodiac animal, simply look up which one represents your birth year. However, if you’re born in either January or February, make sure you also check the Lunar New Year date of your birth year. If you were born before Lunar New Year then your zodiac animal is technically the one from the year before. For example, anyone born in year 2000 should technically be a dragon unless your birthday is between January 1st and February 4th which would make you a rabbit because Lunar New Year was February 5th that year.
Overall fortune of your zodiac animal. Every year, the fortunes of the zodiac animals are typically split into three groups - good, okay and bad, and usually refers to your luck across health, career, finance and relationships. Many may assume it’s a good year for you if your zodiac animal is the same as the current year, however it’s actually quite the opposite. Amongst the few animals that are predicted to have bad luck, the zodiac animal of the current year is always one of them - this is also known as “Fan Tai Sui” (犯太歲) meaning to have offended the “Tai Sui” God 太歲( also known as the God of Ages)
Things that will bring you good luck. Don’t worry if it’s looking like a bad year ahead because there are always ways to encounter that and bring in some positive energy. Traditionally, Chinese people would perform a ceremony known as “An Tai Sui” 安太歲 (or “She Tai Sui” 攝太歲) where they select a lucky hour and day to pray and offer goods to the “Tai Sui” God. Another common practice is to find out which animals, people and objects bring you good luck so you can surround yourself with it. For example, I figured out that dogs will bring me good luck this year (my zodiac animal is a rabbit) so I bought Snoopy keychain to carry around with me. Another way to bring yourself good luck is to wear red clothing or accessories.
Whether or not one believes in zodiac readings and auspicious dates, it can’t hurt to know if the year ahead will be smooth or rocky – some may call this superstitious, but to me, I’m just covering all my bases.
Through this article, our insiders, QN wanted to share her family story and celebrate her culture with all of us.
At the OLVE, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We are not affiliated nor do we have an advertising partnerships with the brands we may feature.