Celebrating the Year of the Monkey: Chinese New Year 2016

February 7, 2016 Updated: February 7, 2016

We are now shifting from the Year of the Goat to the Year of the Monkey. While the Year of the Goat (2015) is a symbol of good luck in the Chinese zodiac, the coming Year of the Monkey (2016) is the sign of creativity and inspiration. This year, Feb. 8 marks the auspicious beginning of the Year of the Monkey!

The Monkey is the ninth of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac. Each year is related to an animal sign according to a 12-year-cycle. This can be traced back to 2600 B.C when the mythical Yellow Emperor instituted the first cycle with the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

The Sign of the Monkey

Monkeys are naturally cheerful and energetic, and quite adaptive. If you were born during the following periods, you carry a Monkey sign:

Start Date End Date Element
February 8, 2016 January 27, 2017 Fire
January 22, 2004 February 8, 2005 Wood
February 4, 1992 January 22, 1993 Water
February 16, 1980 February 4, 1981 Metal
January 30, 1968 February 16, 1969 Earth
February 12, 1956 January 30, 1957 Fire
January 25, 1944 February 12, 1945 Wood
February 6, 1932 January 25, 1933 Water
February 20, 1920 February 7, 1921 Metal


Like their animal counterpart, people born in the Monkey Year are usually smart and amusingly clever, and people are drawn to them. They tend to be intellectuals, experienced and knowledgeable, with excellent memories. They can be good diplomats who can extricate themselves from a difficult situation and create more opportunities for themselves.

Their tendency to be mischievous, curious and clever makes them fast learners. They like a challenge and in their careers are excellent performers. Inclined to playfulness, for them practical joking rules the day.

Although they are enthusiastic, self-assured, sociable, creative, and lovely—attractive qualities for relationship, they tend to be independent. They are also quick-tempered and see themselves as superior to others. They fall in love easily but have trouble with fidelity. Though playful, their pranks may unintentionally cause harm, hurting the feelings of others.

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Good Associations for the Monkey

The Chinese character for monkey is 猴 (hóu), which combines the radical 犭for animal and 侯 (hóu), meaning marquis, for its phonetic.

China was divided into many small kindoms during the Spring & Autumn and Warring States periods (770–221 B.C.). After conquering the other states to gain control over the region, the Emperor of the Qin State united China and started the Qin Dynasty (221–206 B.C.) At that time, the princes of different kingdoms were all titled as 侯 (hóu), which means marquis or lord. Both characters (monkey and marquis) have the same pronunciation.

Monkeys are intelligent animals. Compared to the tiger that is considered the king of the forest, monkeys are not as physically powerful and strong. They lead instead with their intelligence and cleverness. The Chinese character for monkey explains the animal very well, bestowing, then, its auspicious meaning.

New Year Greetings for the Year of the Monkey

As always, the arrival of the Chinese New Year is an opportunity to let go of all grudges and to sincerely wish everyone peace, health, and happiness. During this time, Chinese people greet one another with well wishes. Below are some of the most popular New Year greetings for the Year of the Monkey:

The Golden Monkey brings you a Happy New Year! (金猴獻瑞, jīn hóu xiàn ruì)

Auspicious Monkey welcomes spring! (福猴迎春, fú hóu yíng chūn)

Golden Monkey heralds the return of spring! (金猴報春歸, jīn hóu bào chūn guī)

Peace and health in the Year of the Monkey! (猴年安康, hóu nián ān kāng)

Happy Monkey Year! (猴年吉祥, hóu nián jí xiáng)