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Measurements of Time in China

The Chinese calendar (also celebrated in Taiwan) follows a 60-year cycle, so 2008 will be similar historically to 1948, when Israel was established and the blockade of Berlin started, both events part of the build-up to long-standing conflict.

They follow the Lunar calendar, that is based on the cycles of the moon and associates each of the 12 years forming a partial cycle with an animal. Fortune-tellers base their predictions on the relationship between the zodiac animals and the characteristics of each.

The (1) Rat is the first of the 12 animal signs, so marks new beginnings. It is followed by (2) Ox, (3) Tiger, (4) Rabbit, (5) Dragon, (6) Snake, (7) Horse, (8) Goat, (9) Monkey, (10) Rooster, (11) dog and (12) Pig.

The Year of the Pig ends tonight (on February 6, 2008, Wednesday) and the Year of the Rat is going to start tomorrow - on February 7, 2008, Thursday. This rodent is seen as a "flower of romance" which means the year may stimulate romance, but also sex scandals. The most famous water disasters in history, such as the south Asian tsunami in 2004 and the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, both incidents happened on a date with prominent appearance of the Rat. Even the previous Year of the Rat, 1996, witnessed more than 20 plane crashes including the Trans World Airlines Boeing aircraft which exploded over the Atlantic, killing 230 people.
Chinese fortunes are based on a belief that events are dictated by the different balances in the elements that make up the earth -- gold, wood, water, fire and earth.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/09/11