- Gordon Dumoulin
My 本命年 (Běnmìngnián) or Chinese zodiac year is only 2 weeks away, I am prepared !
China Culture & Traditions | My 本命年 (Běnmìngnián) or Chinese zodiac year is only 2 weeks away, I am prepared !
According to the Chinese lunar calendar, every year corresponds to one of twelve animals (Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig). Different animal signs are believed to carry different meanings by the Chinese just as similar as the Western horoscope. People have 12-year cycles in their life to reach their Zodiac Year of Birth, which is known as本命年 (Běnmìngnián).
You might think that your Benmingnian would be a good one. But on the contrary, traditional belief is that your benmingnian is going to be full of bad luck and difficulties. The mythology is that people will犯太岁(fàn tàisuì , offend Tai Sui) in their benmingnian. Taisui initially referred to a star opposite of Jupiter which revolves around the Earth every 12 years, the same 12-year cycle as the Chinese zodiac signs.
To protect from any misfortunes in your benmingnian, it is traditionally believed that it helps to wear the color red, being the lucky and strong color. You cannot buy red clothes or accessories for yourself but it should be given by friends or family. Common items are red underwear, socks or waist and wrist bands, decorated with jade or gold which, also strong powers to conquer evil.
A funny note; most people in their benmingnian wear the color red extensively in the first weeks of the new year so when you happen to see people wearing red socks, shoes or a scarf in the streets after Chinese new year, you can guess their age or be 12 years wrong in your estimation 😊. Or they just love the color red.