Monisha Singh Dudaney
On the occasion of Chinese New Year today, we bring you a look at what 2012, the Year of the Dragon has in store for you!
The Chinese put a great store in astrology. It virtually rules their lives. They lean heavily on the address of celestial bodies while deciding a wedding, planning a trip or starting a new venture.
Actually their astrology is based on just one one celestial system -- the cycle of the moon. And not the cycle of the sun, planets or stars.
Chinese New Year -- in 2012 it falls on January 23 -- is on a different date each year because the lunar calendar does not have any connection with the solar calendar. Gung hay fat choy is the traditional Chinese greeting for new year. It means: Best wishes and congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.
The Chinese have identified 12 animals to express zodiacal time. The choice of these animals is based on a tale from Chinese mythology that has been given several interpretations.
One version is: The rat was assigned the job of inviting a variety of animals to a banquet to meet the Jade Emperor, who rules the heaven and the earth. At this special meal the animals would have a chance to be selected for the zodiac signs.
The animals who showed up found a place in calendar. The cat apparently never found a spot because the rat fooled him into believing that the banquet was one day later; hence since that day the rat and the cat have been enemies for eternity.
Based on your year of birth, find out which sign you belong to:
The Dragon: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
The Snake: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001
The Horse: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002
The Sheep: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003
The Monkey: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
The Rooster: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005
The Dog: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006
The Pig: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007
The Rat: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
The Ox: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
The Tiger: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
The Rabbit: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
Magnanimous, full of vitality and strength, Dragons are a veritable storehouse of energy.
In China, the Dragon symbolises the emperor or the male. It represents power and those born in the Dragon Year are said to wear the horns of destiny.
The Chinese also consider the Year of the Dragon to be the best year, as people born under this sign are highly intelligent, lucky, healthy and fully of confidence. They are extroverts and have strong will-power. They are not always easy to get on with and can prove dangerous enemies. If you get on their right side, they make for supportive and helpful friends.
The Chinese call the Dragons the guardians of wealth and power; certainly a prosperous sign to belong to. However, it's also a sign most prone to megalomania.
Famous people born under the sign: John Lennon, St Joan of Arc, Frank Sinatra, Yehudi Menuhin, Che Guevara
2012 for the Dragon: It promises to be a super year. Dragon years allow people born under the sign to choose and re-channelise their excitement and enthusiasm, making them extremely fearless.
The Year of the Dragon marks a new beginning in all ways. Be it a new opportunity at work or a new relationship, the year is filled with many possibilities which the Dragon must make the most of. Also better-equipped to take a step back and re-evaluate situations, Dragons this year will enjoy the fruits of both patience and the spotlight.
2012 promises to be a socially-filled calendar for most Dragons. Post June, dinner soirees, fun vacations and a lot of glamorous splash-outs happen. Moving homes/cities is indicated post November. Money comes in easily this year, especially for those starting new endeavours and businesses. Calculated risks prove wise and will pay off, especially as Dragons attract many with their honey!
Tip of the year: Charity begins at home and it's your responsibility to share your abundance with others.
Best compatibility: Rabbit, Tiger, Ox
Philosophers, theologians, political wizards, wily financers -- Snakes are the deepest thinkers and the most enigmatic of the Chinese cycle. People born under this sign of wisdom are highly intelligent, wise, calm and understanding. They are endowed with an inborn wisdom of their very own right.
Graceful and soft spoken, they love books, food, music, theater and gravitate towards the finer things in life. Elegant in speech, dress and manners, they don't like indulging in useless small talk or frivolities. They are deep thinkers, love challenges though they take their own time in taking important decisions.
They can be quite generous with money but are known to be ruthless when they to want to attain an important objective. Snakes are generally good looking and have plenty of admirers.
Famous people born under the sign: Indira Gandhi, Mao Tse Tsung, John Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln
2012 for the Snake: 2012 promises to be exciting for the Snakes. Attracting admirers and the spotlight in equal measure, Snakes will find this year one of the luckiest ahead. Encouragement towards growth, change, new possibilities and exploration opportunities may startle people born under the sign, leaving them no time to think and forcing them to react. The need of the hour is to strike with both precision and speed, pushing the Snake to make more impactful and meaningful decisions.
Love for the snake this year will involve friendships turning romantic. Those in committed relationships plan a family towards the end of the year. Water Dragon Years prove to be financial windfalls for you. In fact, the spendthrift Snake is advised to save every month, so a financial cushion proves wise. Promotions and bonuses come through the year, rewarding efficiency and focus, making 2012 a fortunate one!
Tip of the year: Looking to commit? 2012 proves perfect to get engaged or married.
Best compatibility: Ox, Dragon, Rabbit, Rooster
Photographs: Andrew H Walker/Getty Images for DIFF
Cheerful, popular and quick-witted, the Horse has raw sex appeal rather than straight good looks! The Horse is a socializer and loves meeting people and making new friends.
The unpredictable horse will fall in love easily and out of love just as easily. People born under his sign will have a cheerful nature and revel in being the center of attention. They have leadership qualities and will not allow for any restrictions or rules that may come in the way of their freedom.
Adventurers at heart, horses are noted for their keen mind and ability to manage money. Self-reliant, vivacious, energetic, impetuous and even brash, they are known to be showy dressers, partial to bright colours and striking designs to the point of being gaudy on occasion.
They love exercise, both mental and physical. Often called the playboy or the playgirl of the cycle, they are just as skillful in business and love!
Famous people born under the sign: FD Roosevelt, Barbara Streisand, Rembrandt, Chris Evert, Amitabh Bachchan
2012 for the Horse: A fun year awaits the Horse, allowing people born under the sign to run away from anything regular and routine. Punting and taking risks with stocks, new businesses, romantic entanglements and careers will prove extremely lucky!
Horses in 2012 will gallop till March, on the career front especially. New ventures related to travel, education and media prove to be extremely lucrative. High profile positions will open up. Admiration and accolades come your way and staying in the spotlight is your destiny.
Enthusiastic and independent, the Horse will find this to be a year which leverages ambition. Avoiding overconfidence might be key to ending 2012 on a positive note. Watching and handling rage is critical to your wellbeing and it might be imperative for you to hold your horses!
On the love front, this year will be quite a party -- especially for those in relationships, who watch them flourish. More communicative and tender, partners will be thrilled with the Horse's tender side!
Tip of the year: Be careful about your appearance so as to avoid blunders or laughter!
Best compatibility: Tiger, Goat, Dog
Photographs: Central Press/Getty Images
This is the most feminine sign of the Chinese Zodiac. Called the Good Samaritan of the cycle, the Sheep are righteous, sincere and easily taken in by sob stories.
They are artistic, fashionable creative and appreciative of the finer things of life. Known for their gentle and compassionate ways, they can easily forgive and understand about others faults.
They dislike strict schedules and cannot take too much discipline or criticism. They are lucky in financial matters and rarely short of funds. They love to live in a relaxed and pressure free environment.
Famous people born under the sign: Barbara Walters, Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, King George IV, The Shah of Iran
2012 for the Sheep: 2012 is likely to shake the routine-loving Sheep out of its slumber. Forcing sheep to shed their inhibitions, the Year of the Dragon makes them a bit jittery. Once they overcome their initial nerves, Sheep will find themselves in their element.
Steady and team-playing, they will be forced to look at new creative ways of making money. On the career front, seeking professional advice to change tracks proves wise and will help create new paths. Money might be an issue this year, as bouts of spending will prompt the luxury-loving sheep into a corner on many an occasion.
Love for the Sheep comes by chance -- especially as close friends play Cupid. During a highly romantic year, they will be more than playing the field and moving into the dating circuit. Sheep in relationships will be extremely attentive to their mates, enjoying a year which is blissfully happy.
Tip of the year: Learn to let small arguments go and you will be extremely happy.
Best compatibility: Tiger, Horse, Monkey, Dragon
Photographs: Jeff Christensen/Reuters
The Monkey is the sign of the inventor, the improviser and the motivator in the Chinese Zodiac. They are clever, flexible and innovative. They can master anything under the sun and they usually have an aptitude for being good linguists.
No challenge is too great for them and the Monkey will be successful at whatever s/he chooses to do. They like to help and advise people. They can make for successful businessmen, politician and business figures.
They are a bit lazy by nature and sometimes neglect the major issues of life. On the negative side, they have an inborn superiority complex!
Famous people born under the sign: Walter Matthau, Edward Kennedy, Mick Jagger, the Duchess of Windsor, Nelson Rockfeller
2012 for the Monkey: Innovative in spirit, Monkeys get a helping hand in 2012 from the Year of the Dragon. Opportunities for growth are many and doing things for the general good of those around is recommended.
Research/study and taking on activities to push their own personal growth will be on the anvil and prove exciting. With a taste for adventure and their love of partying, Monkeys will be wearing their social hats, throwing many a swanky do or taking trips around the world.
Love for the single Monkeys will be fast, exciting and culminate in relationships towards the year-end. For those in relationships, it might be imperative to keep their channels of communication open as they decide to share personal visions with their mates and re-evaluate long term goals.
In 2012, Monkeys are advised to contain their impatience and their tongues, not interfere with other people or gossip, as they will end up ruining friendships.
Tip of the year: Avoid taking stupid risks as speculation is unwise this year.
Best compatibility: Rat, Ox, Sheep, Snake
Photographs: Heino Kalis/Reuters
Roosters are hardworking, resourceful and have a colourful personality. They are extremely careful about all the minute details in any work they undertake.
The Roosters, especially men born under this sign will be attractive, dashing and handsome. Known to be sharp, neat, precise, organised, decisive, upright, alert and the most direct, they can also be critical to the point of being brutal.
They love to argue and debate showing how knowledgeable and smart they are, sometimes with little regard for the feelings of others. Witty and amusing, the Roosters will never pass up an opportunity to recount their adventures and enumerate their accomplishments.
They are very good organisers, although sometimes they display overconfidence which may damage their reputation, although they are extremely keen on helping others who are less fortunate.
Famous people born under the sign: Prince Phillip, Elton John, Pope Paul VI
2012 for the Rooster: Looking for a new adventure? Then the Year of the Dragon will support every encounter and provide new avenues of change. On the professional front, starting up businesses or finding their expertise in demand will be some of the highlights for Roosters as they march to the beat of their own drum. Those in sales, marketing and leading teams finally come into their own by August 2012.
Wise long-term investments will be your financial hallmark for this year, especially as conservative options look lucrative.
Love for the single Roosters is all about colour, variety and enjoying personal freedom. Any decisions to settle down are best left till 2013, when they begin to see relationships for what they truly are. Those in relationships will smooth over any wrinkles and enjoy their time with loved ones.
Health-wise, Roosters are advised to stay upbeat and cheerful at all times.
Tip of the year: Carry your cards handy, as business opportunities come from chance encounters.
Best compatibility: Tiger, Horse, Monkey, Dragon
Photographs: Heino Kalis/Reuters
Dogs are faithful, honest and courageous friends and have very firm views. The most likeable sign of the Chinese Cycle, people born under this sign are intelligent and straightforward.
Driven by a deep sense of loyalty and a passion for justice and fair play, they make for great friends. If you have a forthright dog for a friend, you must know that when you are in trouble, all you have to do is dial D-O-G. For no matter how much they complain or feign indifference, they cannot ignore a real call for help.
But, if badly treated by someone, they rarely forget. They are extremely steadfast in accomplishing their goals.
Famous people born under the sign: Charles Bronson, Pierre Cardin, Sir Winston Churchill, Elvis Presley
2012 for the Dog: The rambunctiousness of the Dragon Year may take the Dog, who likes order and control, by surprise. But that is what is needed, perhaps, to help them out of their outmoded ways in 2012.
Learning to be more flexible and open will be the key to professional success, in a year marked with many highlights and low points. Balancing the two happens best when Dogs work hard and keep their nose to the grindstone, to beat the unpredictability of the energy of the Dragon Year.
Health needs watching and restorative breaks to restore your pleasant self are necessary. Saving plans and regular investments will keep you happy, especially towards the end of the year, allowing you to spend on unplanned events and contingencies. Love is likely to take a backseat for both single and committed Dogs, and 2012 seems largely about work. Smile and wait your turn!
Tip of the year: Focus on work and leave the rest to an all-knowing universe
Best compatibility: Rabbit, Snake, Dog, Rat
Photographs: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
Pigs are born under the sign of honesty. They are cultured, kind, caring and have an understanding, peaceful nature. Gallant, sturdy and courageous, Pigs will apply themselves to an allotted task with all their strength and you can rely on them to see it through.
Outwardly, they may appear rough-hewn and jovial, but scratch the surface and you will find pure gold. The Pig is bound to be one of the most natural people you could come across. They never hit below the belt.
No doubt, they will have fights and differences with others, but they will not carry grudges unless given no choice. They can be lazy, but in a wondrous way, a true friend to have by your side.
Famous people born under the sign: Ronald Reagan, Julie Andrews, Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock
2012 for the Pig: A windfall of opportunities on both the money and honey fronts is in store for the Pigs! The single will find many suitors wooing them and many settle down in happy matrimony. Pigs in relationships will find matters of the heart overruling much else happening in their lives.
Workwise, the year promises a lot as new positions open up. Pigs in exciting jobs are advised to stay put as promotions and bonuses are on the cards. Feted and awarded in their respected professional fields, 2012 has much reason to party.
Health needs attention, especially since it's tied to emotion -- anything making Pigs unhappy will rock their boat and it's wise to communicate openly and directly with loved ones. Moneymaking comes easily through thie year to the Pig and they should invest in enhancing their skills. Sharing comes easily, especially with extended family and relatives.
Tip of the year: Attend to your domestic situations in 2012!
Best compatibility: Sheep, Tiger, Dog
Photographs: Phil Noble/Reuters
The charm of the Rat is as universally known and as loved as the Walt Disney character Mickey Mouse. Remarkably easy to get along with, hardworking and thrifty, they will be generous only to those they are inordinately fond of -- if you receive an expensive gift from a Rat, you should certainly rate yourself high in his/her esteem.
On the surface, a Rat may appear reserved, but this is not so. They are never as quiet as they look and make friends easily. They are charming, bright, happy and sociable and really cherish their friends, associates and family relations.
Famous people born under the sign: Pope John Paul, William Shakespeare, Yves St Laurent, Prince Charles, Karim Aga Khan
2012 for the Rat: Dragon years are perfect for Rats, who are sociable and full of fun! New ways of meeting people, networking and constantly being on the move will help them. In demand among friends, family and even customers, Rats are constantly balancing their busy schedules. Bringing in business and charm through their personal contacts, they love to be mentally stimulated and will handle the challenges of the Dragon year with ease.
On the career front, slow and steady will be the game and recognising every opportunity's value will drive Rats to spectacular success.
2012 also proves to be a year when they need to pay special attention to their health -- sticking to an exercise schedule is definitely the need of the hour. Investing your money longterm proves wiser than day-trading and speculation -- get-rich-quick schemes are best avoided by Rats!
Tip of the year: Study, acquire more skills and be ready for anything!
Best compatibility: Monkey, Dragon, Ox
Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters
The Ox or the buffalo sign symbolises prosperity through fortitude and hard work. People born under this sign are dependable, calm and methodical. Patient and tireless workers, they like routine and convention.
Beneath a modest but neat appearance, the Ox usually shields a resolute and logical mind. They walk with their heads held high and are also systematic.You can rely on their promises. Once they give their word, they will stick with it.
The Ox likes to take his/her own sweet time in matters of the heart. They are slow to warm up and reveal their true feelings. If you marry an Ox and place your trust in him/her, you will never be disappointed. They generally excel in politics, farming and agriculture though their rigid and stubborn nature may lead to conflicts with others time and again.
Famous people born under the sign: Jawaharlal Nehru, Walt Disney, Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher, Adolf Hitler
2012 for the Ox: The busy and constantly changing Dragon year brings super health to the Ox. Energised and moving dynamically, they will be on their toes, shedding sluggishness to cope with the busy energy of the year.
Hard work, busy schedules and running around with much frenzy will be the vibe for 2012. But post the summer months, things slow down and the Ox will finally be able to put both feet up and enjoy a much-needed break.
Sticking to budgets and planning finances for necessities and luxuries will be wise -- they may constantly feel like they are balancing books, but will come out stronger in matters of money by 2013.
Those who are single now take matters into their own hands and enjoy the chase. Those in relationships work hard at strengthening their equations and romance is in the air!
Tip of the year: Be sociable, be open and you will be just fine!
Best compatibility: Rat, Rabbit, Rooster
Photographs: Baron/Getty Images
In the East, the Tiger symbolises power, passion and daring. This fearless and fiery fighter is revered as the sign that wards off the three main disasters of a household fire, thieves and ghosts.
Tigers are courageous and active. They have a strong character and make for excellent leaders. Restless and reckless by nature, they are always impatiently geared for action. However, because of their suspicious nature, they are prone to waver and make decisions.
While they are quick-tempered, they are equally sincere, affectionate and generous. Blessed with a marvelous sense of humour, they love babies, animals, jazz or anything that spurs their imagination.
Famous people born under the sign: Charles De Gaulle, Groucho Marx, Queen Elizabeth II, Marilyn Monroe
2012 for the Tiger: Making connections and being grateful for what they have will be the big lesson of 2012 for Tigers. Being humble, cooperative and learning to be a team player will be key to an exciting year. Taking chances with a tad bit of caution makes it a good time, especially for those in business or a partnership.
Listening to others and their point of view -- be it peers, partners, clients, or even elders, keeps you in check. Socially, Tigers will be out and about making new contacts, networking and hanging out with like-minded groups.
Love for the Tiger also comes easy, especially in June as they revel in luxurious surroundings and settings, bringing much scope to this area of their lives. For those in relationships, staying out of trouble with their mates and focusing on their domestic lives proves wise, as many temptations come knocking at the door.
Healthwise, you may be expending a lot of energy balancing commitments and learning to keep your cool, so taking regular breaks is necessary. Money comes easily, especially with your innate ability to make the most of your own risk-taking instincts.
Tip of the year: Smiles and humility will win you the day!
Best compatibility: Pig, Dog, Horse
Photographs: Baron/Getty Images
The Rabbit symbolises graciousness, good manners, sound counsel, kindness and sensitivity to beauty. Their soft speech and graceful and nimble ways embody all the desirable traits of a successful diplomat.
They are reserved, artistic and posses good judgment and a sharp memory. Their thoroughness also makes them good scholars. Though flirtatious and full of fun, with the help of the mind and brain they will shine in the fields of law, politics and government.
While those under this sign are extremely lucky in business and monetary transactions, they also tend to be very moody!
Famous people born under the sign: David Rockfeller, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Albert Einstein
2012 for the Rabbit: Even though the chaos of the Dragon year may baffle the rabbit, they will eventually come out on top.
In the professional space, new starts are indicated and many of them move jobs/cities -- a home away from home is indicated. Adaptable in most ways, Rabbits learn to stand up for themselves, whether to difficult clients or tough seniors.
Dramatic and exciting, they need to constantly take time off to catch their breath. Meeting new people and like-minded folk will keep them excited and energised and their social calendar is filled with many invitations!
Love may knock the Rabbit out this year and hence singletons are advised to play the field and keep things cool. Those in relationships may need to extend themselves to listen and comply with the needs of their partners, strengthening and smoothening their bonds.
Money pours in from all sources, especially towards the winter months, making the Rabbit leap with pleasure!
Tip of the year: Inculcate the ability to forgive and forget!
Best compatibility: Tiger, Dragon, Monkey