The most auspicious time of the year for the Chinese, the Lunar New year or Spring Festival celebrates the bursting forth of new beginnings, reunion of families, eating symbolic yummy treats, watching CCTV’s annual New Year show and just basking in the warmth of another successful year gone by. Like in the Hindu New Year, Diwali, red is considered an auspicious colour to wear during Chinese New Year, fireworks burst rainbow showers dispelling evil and families meet, exchanging good tidings and gifts for the forthcoming year.
The Lunar new year, revolves around twelve animals that were chosen by the Jade emperor (yuhuang dadl) or Indra in India. Each animal brings with it, their own personalities which lead to predictions for the different years. The year of the rabbit, beginning today, will last until the 22nd of January, 2012, when the year of the most powerful animal the dragon will begin.
The rabbit’s association with various symbols leads Chinese astronomers to various insights regarding economy, social and political predictions. The following are Inchin Closer’s deductions of the Rabbit year.
The rabbit is considered to be a neat, clean and private animal, mostly concerned with itself, symbolizing that countries will be mostly concerned with their domestic economies this year. Protectionism and trade barriers will rise as nations grapple with balancing domestic growth and inflation.
The rabbit is also associated with the moon, Chinese folklore believes that a rabbit resides in the moon. The moon symbolises feminism and so the year is expected to be good for women. It is also considered to be a good year for sex. Where do you think the expression “breeding like rabbits” comes from? Sex and sex scandals should abound this year.
The rabbit is associated with youth and the budding and flowering of spring. This favors the younger generation and suggests that they will become more energetically involved in life across the social and political spectrum.
When formulating their prognostications, geomancers must also consider the five basic elements – metal, wood, water, fire and earth – that rotate through the zodiac, creating a 60-year cycle. This year, like last, metal is sitting on top of wood. The troubling symbolism is that of a sheathed dagger, which bodes ill for international relations. The rioting and political upheaval in Tunisia and Egypt could very well be a precursor of a turbulent year ahead.
The year’s heavy metal theme is bad news for the global environment as well. Wood is a symbol of nature, so the metal element that is squashing it indicates further degradation of the natural world in the form of droughts, air pollution and, ultimately, greater climate change.
In general, as water is an absent element in the coming year, industries related to it – such as shipping, fishing and beverage making – should prepare themselves for dry times. Those involved in paper, textile and furniture manufacturing, as well other wood-related occupations, should also plan for the worst. In addition, earth industries such as mining, property development and insurance appear weak.
The rabbit year will also be a strong year for the entertainment business. As metal is the dominant element this year, bankers, machinery manufactures and automobile makers should win big.