Today is Chinese New Year’s Eve, and if you are a faithful reader of this blog, you have probably already cleaned your home, bought new red clothes, and loaded a groaning table full of Chinese delicacies to eat with your gathered family, so that at midnight you can set off your firecrackers to blast out the Year of the Water Dragon and welcome in the Year of the Water Snake. Or maybe you haven’t…
Recent news articles discussing the Chinese New Year report that people in China and Hong Kong do not like the Year of the Snake because they think it comes with a poisonous bite. The last two times the Year of the Snake rolled around were in 1989 (Tiananmen Protests) and 2001 (9/11). But Chinese fortune-tellers in Hong Kong and Taiwan say that 2013 is the Year of the Water Snake, which will not be as poisonous. They say that the year will bring slow and steady improvement as we pull out of the global financial and economic doldrums. Street vendors, however, are less happy about the Year of the Snake because fewer people want to buy commemorative Year of the Snake figurines, like they did last year in the ever-popular Year of the Dragon. Instead of selling snakes, the vendors are selling monkey figurines because wearing a monkey necklace can bring good luck, especially to people born in the Year of the Snake, or so says the old wives’ tale.
My Chinese horoscope for this year says that the Year of the Snake is the yin year in the pair of Dragon-Snake; therefore, it will bring us restful energy. In this year, however, we should not settle for mediocrity but should push steadily forward. The Snake is a thinker, not a doer. So the Year of the Snake is good for developments in science and technology and for those in academia (Yay… this is the year I will start working on my PhD). Water strengthens this aspect of the Year of the Snake because it’s the element (of the Five Elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) that is most closely associated with scholarship.
The Chinese astrologer I consulted online said that the Snake is a positive sign for advancing new ideas, great works of literature, art and philosophy. It is a sign for mysticism, reflection, and introspection. But, it is also the Chinese sign most attuned to picking up vibes, revealing scandals, and taking revenge. The fact that this is the Year of the Water Snake means that communication, networking, and interpersonal relationships will be enhanced, if you are careful to avoid offending others. I guess that is what the written blurb on my Chinese calendar means.