The year of the Monkey arrived in 2004. The Chinese zodiac places the year of the monkey in ninth position in its celestial cycle, which spans 12 years. Dissimilar from the Western zodiac tradition, Chinese astrology stresses the importance of the progression of the moon through the night sky; while in Western astrology, the sun is of primary importance. According to ancient Chinese astrology, the year of the Monkey foretells of mercurial, amorous personal relationships along with hard-earned success in business endeavors that involve creativity and decisive action. Mischievous, precocious individuals and the fanatically dedicated have been born during the year of the Monkey.
Sun Wukong, the Monkey King: China’s Beloved Novel
Journey to the West, one of the four great classical tales penned during the 16th-century Ming Dynasty, ranks among the most revered literary works in Chinese culture and history. Written by Wu Cheng’en, the epic novel begins by recounting the myth of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. As the plot progresses, a group of Buddhist monks on pilgrimage to India encounter various nefarious spirits during their holy mission, mainly the Monkey King, banished for his revolt against the Chinese heavenly host. Eventually defeated, Sun Wukong displays many of the characteristics that the ancient Chinese associated with primates: shrewdness, ambition, mischievousness, pride and deceitfulness. In Chinese mythology the monkey symbolizes great power attained through ambitious pursuits as well as shrewd maneuvers.
Personality Traits of People Born in the Year of the Monkey
According to Chinese culture, children born in the year of the Monkey display several curiously paradoxical personality traits. Children born during Monkey years have a tendency to show off and live boisterously. The Chinese believe that the year of the Monkey creates people who are simultaneously witty and egotistic, with a tendency to have talent for public speaking in addition to speaking deceptively. In Western culture, children born during the year of the Monkey are said to have been born with a “silver tongue”, living as gifted socialites or smooth-talking, high-energy businessmen. Interestingly, the Chinese associate the Monkey with flighty romantic pursuits too, but these amorous endeavors carry with them a positive connotation, as opposed to the negative connotation Westerners associate with frequent romantic liaisons. People born in the year of the Monkey can be tricksters as easily as they can be loyal, life-long friends and business partners.
Famous Individuals Born During Monkey Years
Many well-known politicians, engineers and writers have been born during the year of the Monkey; for instance, the world-renowned Chinese engineer Cai Jintao, born in 1908 — the first year of the Monkey in the 20th century. The Canadian-born controversial economist John Kenneth Galbraith, author of The Affluent Society and The New Industrial State, was born in the same year. Likewise, the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, , is another famous individual born in 1908. 12 years later in 1920, the Chinese writer Eileen Chang was born and later composed novels that focused on the precociousness of love and romance — an apt subject for a person born in the year of the monkey.