February 4, 2016

Lunar New Year: Celebrating the Year of the Monkey

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Feb

04

Lunar New Year: Celebrating the Year of the Monkey

There are twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac, and the Year of the Monkey—which begins at the start of Lunar New Year on 8 February—is the ninth in the 12-year cycle. People born in the year of the Monkey, which includes 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, and 2004, are considered to be witty, intelligent, mischievousness, curious and, like monkeys, they can sometimes be crafty opportunists!

As well as having a Chinese zodiac sign, according to Chinese element theory, each year is also associated with one of five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth, which means that a Wood Monkey or an Earth Monkey, for example, comes only once in a 60-year cycle. Each of these elements has their own set of characteristics that affect the animal signs.

There are five types of Monkeys, each with different personality traits. I am a Gold Monkey, and to mark the start of the Year of the Monkey, I sought out some of my fellow Monkeys in Cartus’ Singapore office to find out what Lunar New Year means to them. 

Jo-Lynn Wee (GOLD MONKEY)—Director, Client Services APAC

You have waited 12 years for this day to arrive once again … how do you feel about celebrating your year?
Every Chinese New Year is exciting for me, regardless of horoscope. 

Do you think you have any monkey traits? 
I’d like to think that I’m intelligent and a fast learner (I hope my boss sees this and agrees!). I might also have a magnetic field in me that attracts Y chromosomes only, otherwise, I can’t think of a valid reason why I’m blessed with boys!

How are you celebrating Chinese New Year this year? 
Like other years, I will kick off the celebration on New Year’s Eve with a home-cooked dinner at my parents’ house with our large extended family, which consists of my parents, my family, my in-laws, my brother’s family, and his in-laws. New Year celebrations are typically a 16-day affair (if you count New Year’s Eve), filled with visits to relatives and friends catching up, eating, and giving and receiving the traditional red packets. My husband’s family’s tradition is to have a huge extended family feast on the first day of New Year and then on the 15th day, I typically host a smaller dinner with my parents and brother’s family to bring the celebrations to a close.

Do you have any auspicious New Year tips?
Don’t sweep the floor before 12 noon on the  first day, as this will sweep the good luck away. Also, always use nice words and avoid arguing or shouting. This can be hard to enforce when you manage a household filled with boys, so this particular rule only applies to my husband and me until noon!

What is your favourite New Year food? My all-time favourite is bak kwa, barbequed pork meat, which I only eat during Chinese New Year, despite its being available all through the year in Singapore. This annual craving has probably rubbed off on my husband and sons as well, as last year we polished off huge helpings of bak kwa!

Norainy Subandie (GOLD MONKEY)—International Assignment Consultant, Client Services

You have waited 12 years for this day to arrive once again… how do you feel about celebrating your year?
I am glad the long wait is over. I foresee it will be an awesome year!

Do you think you have any monkey traits? 
Yes, I think I am playful, very mischievous, and have a strong will for survival.

How are you celebrating Chinese New Year this year?
I will be with my extended family in Port Klang Malaysia. The 7th February is my son’s birthday, so we’ll have a double celebration this year.

Do you have any auspicious New Year tips?
My tip is not auspicious, but I advise eating in moderation so that you can enjoy the goodies offered at all the visitations throughout the whole period of celebration.

What is your favourite New Year food?
Definitely pineapple tarts; they are seriously addictive.

Ekta Kalwani (WATER MONKEY)—Associate Program Specialist, Intercultural

You have waited 12 years for this day to arrive once again… how do you feel about celebrating your year?
Excited! I can’t remember how I celebrated the previous Monkey year, as I was 12 at the time, so this year I’m going to make sure that I have a great time and enjoy the celebration!

Describe yourself, are you anything like the traits of a Monkey?
Yes, definitely! I am playful and crack silly jokes with my friends and family. At the same time, I am a fast learner and tend to get things done quickly.

How are you celebrating Chinese New Year this year?
Even though I am Indian, we always decorate our house for New Year. I have Chinese relatives, too, and every year we have a reunion dinner together. This year, we are having a karaoke competition where my Indian family members will compete against my Chinese family members!

Do you have any auspicious New Year tips?
Yes, wear red for good luck!

What is your favourite New Year food?
Bak kwa and pineapple tarts!

This is Audrey again; thank you to my fellow monkeys for an insight into their plans for Lunar New Year. And in case you are wondering how I will be spending the start of my Monkey year, I will be dieting a week before the New Year starts so that I won’t feel too guilty about enjoying all the pineapple tarts! Thankfully, these delicious tarts are the only snack I will eat during the 15 days of celebration, so I should still be able to recognize myself in the mirror after the festive season is over! One hot tip I have for the upcoming New Year is to deposit money into your savings account a few days before the start of the New Year, to ensure that you have abundant wealth throughout the year! Of course, it’s just a superstition, but there’s no harm in trying!

Here’s wishing all Cartus friends around the world, Xin Nian Kuai Le Wan Shi Ru Yi! Happy New Year and A Successful Year Ahead!

Picture of Audrey  Sim

Posted By

Audrey Sim

About Audrey

Audrey Sim is Cartus’ Marketing Executive in the Asia Pacific region. She has five years’ marketing experience in Asia and is based in Singapore.

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Comments

Brenda
Loved the article, very creative :)
Maryellen
Thank you for a peek into your holiday and hope you enjoy the time with your extended family.
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