The Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey is coming! 2004 was the last Year of the Wood Monkey. In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth, which means that a Wood Monkey or a Fire Monkey comes once in a 60-year cycle. (Read more about Chinese New Year from buzzle). And this year could be more precious than ever.
It is believed that a person’s characteristics are decided by their birth year’s zodiac animal sign and element. The monkey is considered a clever animal that is always compared to a smart human being and is ubiquitous in Chinese culture and astrology, symbolising intelligence and long life. One of the most legendary characters that is representative of this sign is the “Monkey King” – also known as Sun Wukong – who is a main character in the classic, well-known Chinese novel, Journey to the West.
In China, people born in the year of the monkey are called Monkeys. They are believed to be energetic and symbolise flexibility. They also like to explore anything new and learn new things quickly. But as they don’t like to sit still and can sometimes be a bit quick-tempered, Monkey people are often advised to be more patient!
It is said that the year of one’s birth sign is the most unlucky in the 12-year cycle. However, one can avoid this bad luck by wearing something red given by an elder (relative). Popular examples of gifts are: red socks, a red neck tie, underwear or bracelet. According to Chinese astrology, the year 2016 will be a year of great positive change so let’s celebrate this positive year with a Monkey-inspired accessory or lucky gift.
Image credit: Jaquet-droz.com
1. Jaquet Droz —Chinese New Year with four exceptional models
As the Chinese calendar turns to the New Year under the sign of the Fire Monkey, Jaquet Droz celebrates the historic ties between China and the brand known by its twin stars with a collection of four new timepieces.
Image credit: daviddoff.com
2. Daviddoff—Chinese Year of the Monkey Limited edition
To mark the Year of the Monkey, Davidoff Cigars is launching an exclusive pack of 10 cigars. Each is wrapped in a red label featuring the Davidoff logo alongside a monkey. The cigars are encased inside a Chinese-style textured box crafted in bamboo. Davidoff believes that the limited edition box of cigars “embraces the lively and irrepressible spirit of the monkey zodiac.”
Image credit: Shanghaitang.cn
3. Shanghai Tang X Moleskine – Handsome Feng Shui Notebook
In collaboration with the famous Chinese brand Shanghai Tang, this distinctive Moleskine notebook takes inspiration from the Chinese proverb “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. Three wise monkeys adorn the cover.
4. Carrera y Carrera—2016 Bestiario Collection
The Monkey Ring, designed by fine jewellery brand Carrera y Carrera for Chinese New Year, dates back to the sixteenth century Spanish Habsburg dynasty when Queen Isabella was said to have worn an oriental Zodiac monkey pendant until the day of her death. Legend has it that a Cantonese man from Macau, a Portuguese port in China, had presented the ring to Isabella and told her that “In China, women who trust in the power of the monkey are just and fair, and enjoy eternal love with their husbands…Keep this amulet close to your heart.” So, as well as an eye-catching piece of jewellery, the ring – particularly the white gold with tsavorite garnets and diamonds – also makes for a great talking point. Coincidentally, Dior, Tiffany & Co. and Dodo are also bringing out their monkey collection all over the world.
Looks like 2016 will be very ape-y and bling-ful!
Posted by Vicky Hong
Principal - Research
Chinese and English.
The last thing that inspired me: My recent visit to The Shanghai Exhibition Centre (previously known as Sino-Soviet Friendship Building). It had amazing Russian and Empire style neoclassical architecture with Stalinist neoclassical innovations.
My dream project: Running a hostel with a garden café.
My obsession: My naughty son.
Image credit PDD