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Chinese New Year

Year of the Snake

Snake (born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2015, 2037, and 2049)
The Snake under the Chinese zodiac is quite an interesting person.  Known from Adam and Eve days as a seducer, this person is very charming, as well as being well liked.  In fact, the Snake often steals the spotlight, automatically being the center of attention.  Recognized for strength and charisma, most people know the Snake.  Interestingly, this person is usually oversexed, determined, and rash in decision-making.

Positive Characteristics

 

With so much charm and popularity, it is easy to see why the Snake is someone easy to love.  Many think of this individual as being irresistible.  A true friend, the Snake avoids gossip, is a deep thinker, highly intelligent, reliable, and great at making first impressions.  One of the most fascinating aspects of the Snake is this person’s intuition, almost a sixth sense.

 

When it comes to money, the Snake is often very lucky.  In most cases, this person is careful with finances although he or she is also a generous person, especially with loved ones.  On the romantic end, you will find that the male is extremely, loving.  The female of this Chinese zodiac sign is typically gorgeous and success in her career.  For a Snake to feel secure, he or she needs acceptance and approval.  Enriched with wisdom, the Snake has a deep philosophical outlook.

 

Negative Characteristics

 

Although the Snake has great characteristics, there are a few things on the negative side.  For instance, while used to having money, the Snake is usually frugal.  This person also tends to exaggerate and when lending a help, he or she feels a little in control.  The Snake is also someone who will sometimes tell whoppers.  While this person does not make it a habit to lie often, when he/she does lie, it is huge.

 

Another fault associated with the Snake is that if necessary, he or she will do almost anything to save face.  This person also has a lazy side and on occasion, can be self-indulgent.  In fact, you typically see a little mystery with the person under this zodiac sign, which makes him/her even more interesting.

 

Career Opportunities

 

The Snake has an uncanny ability to make money, even though laziness is a negative trait.  From a career perspective, this person should avoid taking risks.  However, this person can be very shred in the business world, having the ability to wheel and deal.  Because of this, Snakes are often successful financially.  In most cases, this person will think things through carefully before formulating a solution, again making them a great businessperson.

 

The most positive thing relating to career is that the Snake is determined to take a project and see it to completion.  Most often, first impressions are formed, leading to a quick decision.  If there is something that this person believes in, you can be sure that nothing or no one will stand in the way.  With a high self-discipline and respect, you can be sure that the Snake would do quite well in about anything.

 

Sign Compatibility

 

The Chinese Zodiac signs the Snake gets along with best are the Rooster, Ox, Horse, Sheep, and Dog.  Those individuals who would be okay with a Snake include the Rat, Tiger, Rabbit, and Dragon.  However, the Monkey and another Snake make a bad connection filled with too much drama.

 

Famous Snakes

 

Just a few famous people who share the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Snake include Picasso, Brook Shields, Audrey Hepburn, and Jackie Onassis.


Boa Constrictor

Boas are a type of snake that is a member of the Boidae family. Boas are basal snakes that are "primitive" in evolutionary terms (i.e. less derived). They are constrictors and give birth to live young. They have anal spurs, a pair of claws on each side of the cloaca, which are vestiges of legs. Boas are named after cows (bos) because of the old myth that boa snakes pursue cows and suckle them until they are drained to death. 

Boas have two subfamilies: Boinae or true boas and Erycinae or sand boas. Pythons are sometimes classified as a subfamily of Boidae, but are frequently listed under their own family, Pythonidae. 

Boinae 

True boas are medium-sized to large snakes. Females are usually larger than their male counterparts. Boas contain many subspecies based on locality. They include Columbian, Suriname, Bolivian, Peruvian, Hog Island, Long Tail Peruvian, Argentine and more. The boas from the Amazon basin are the most colorful possessing bright cherry red tails. It used to be said that boas were New World Snakes and pythons were Old World Snakes, but, with boas found on Madagascar and the Solomon Islands, this is not quite true. Instead, it is possible that boas have survived in evolutionarily isolated areas. South America, until a few million years ago, had a distinct fauna that included marsupial mammals; with the land bridge to North America, boas have migrated north as placental mammals and colubrids (for example) have migrated south. 

Constriction is a method used by various snake species to kill their prey. The snake initially bites its prey and holds on, pulling the prey into its coils or, in the case of very large prey, pulling itself onto the prey. The snake will then wrap one or two coils around the prey, typically the prey's chest. Contrary to myth, the snake does not crush the prey, or even break its bones, but instead squeezes, tightening its grip every time the prey exhales and holding firm, until the prey can no longer draw in air. The prey asphyxiates, and the snake then begins to feed. The entire process is surprisingly rapid, with prey often succumbing as quickly as a minute after being struck. 

Certain groups of snakes have stereotyped patterns of constriction, including the number of coils they use and the orientation of the coils. Also, there is controversy about how much role restriction of circulation plays in subduing prey. 

The Red-tailed Boa, Boa constrictor, is a species of boa, the largest member of the family Boidae, with the largest recorded specimen being over 18 feet long. It has an interesting pattern of brown and black with a red tail. It does well in captivity and tames easily and is a common sight in zoos and homes. 

The common name "boa constrictor" can also be used to refer to any of the four species in the genus Boa as all are constrictors — that is, they kill their prey by constriction. 

Tree boa

While there are numerous arboreal boas, Tree boa most often refers to the genus Corallus. This genus contains eight species, though taxonomic re-arrangements are common. All species are long, slightly laterally flattened, with thin bodies and large heads. They typically have large eyes (though this is less pronounced in large species like the Emerald tree boa, Corallus caninus), boxy heads, and highly elongated anterior teeth, which are often several times the length one would expect for a snake of their size. These huge teeth can penetrate layers of feathers to get a firm grip on birds, their primary prey. All members of the genus are highly nocturnal, and have large numbers of very pronounced heat-sensing pits along their lips. 

Two species are frequently imported as display animals, the Amazon tree boa (Corallus hortulanus) and the Emerald tree boa (Corallus caninus). Pet is not a term one would apply to these species, as most, if not all, have a highly aggressive demeanor, and will strike readily. Their stunning coloration makes them popular, but their specialized habitat and feeding make them suitable only for advanced keepers.

The Dragon Dance is one of the most colorful events associated with Chinese New Years.  Participating dancers hold up the dragon "costume" on poles and perform intricate maneuvers, while lights flash and pyrotechnic devices go off.  The effect of this dance is spectacular, as the serpentine dragon whirls and twirls its way around the crowd.  The tradition of the Dragon Dance goes back centuries, and has deep connections with Chinese culture and mythology. 

The origins of the Dragon Dance stretch back to when peasants in rural China would use it as an appeal to the dragon spirit.  It was believed that performing the dance could halt the spread of epidemics, as the dragon spirit would help to cleanse the air and water.  The dragon spirit is highly revered in China for their wisdom, intelligence, and courage.  In fact, children born in the Year of the Dragon (which comes every 12 years and most recently in 2000) are considered to be very lucky.  From its origins as a healing dance, the Dragon Dance went on to become a popular folk activity.  When westerners first encountered the Dragon Dance around 1000 A.D., it was already a part of festivals and celebrations. 

The size of the dragon used in the Dragon Dance varies greatly based on the skill of the performers and their resources.  Most dragons have between nine and 25 sections, each of which is about five or six feet long.  Some talented dragon dance teams have produced dragons with more than 40 sections, which results in the spectacular sight of a dragon more than 200 feet long!  The length of the dragon is supposed to bring good luck, and so communities work hard to produce the longest dragon possible.  Most dragons' robes are made of sequined, richly colored fabric that cover the dancers' bodies from the waist up, although a few dragons are made with dancers waving long colored fabrics on poles in undulating patterns. 

The dragon's head is usually equipped with a gaping mouth, which is sometimes able to open and close.  Since the Dragon Dance is most often performed at night, the mouth is often the source of flames, fireworks, or bright lights, while the body of the dragon will also be lighted or will have sequins that reflect light in the area.  One of the traditions of the Dragon Dance is grabbing money offered by spectators.  As the dragon moves through the crowd, it will try to catch money in its mouth.  If the spectator wants to offer a large denomination bill, they hold it high in order to challenge the dancers' skill and agility.  In some cases, money has been held from first story windows, and the dragon dancers have stood on each other’s shoulders to climb the wall.  Whether money is offered or not, though, the Dragon Dance is a spectacular sight and a must-see for anyone attending a Chinese celebration.


Unlike the westernized style of zodiac, the Chinese zodiac actually dates back to 2500 BC during the reign of Emperor Huang Ti.  This particular zodiac calendar provides an annual look into activity based on the moon’s cycles.  Beginning with a lunar year, which can begin anytime from late January to the middle of February, each calendar consists of five cycles, each being 12 years. 

For each of the 12 years, the Chinese zodiac includes animals, which has a very interesting legend.  It is believed that before Lord Buddha left the earth, he summoned all of the animals to come before him.  However, of all the animals, only 12 showed up to bid him farewell.  In honor of these 12, Lord Buddha named a year after them.  The belief is that the animal associated with each year rules over it.  Therefore, the lifestyle and personality of the person born under that animal sign is strongly influenced by that particular animal, being supported by the old Chinese saying, “This is the animal that hides in your heart.” 

During an excavation in 1955 of a tomb dating back to the Tang Dynasty, a set of zodiac figurines were found, each carefully made from pottery.  Interestingly, these figurines were created with the body of a human but the head of each of the 12 animals.  During the North Zhou Dynasty, which was from 557 to 581 AD, a very popular practice was to determine a person’s year of birth using the zodiac signs.  You would even find the coordinating zodiac on eating utensils and grave headstones. 

The 12 animals that showed up in front of Lord Buddha included the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig successively.  The story is that the cat spoke with his friend the rat.  They agreed that whichever one of them awoke in the morning first would be responsible for waking the other so they could go to Lord Buddha together.  Unfortunately, the rat broke his promise to the cat, arriving alone.  Shortly thereafter, the remaining 11 animals showed up and by the time that the cat awoke, the meeting had concluded.  The legend is that because of this, cats resent and kill rats.  To give you a better idea of how the Chinese zodiac works, consider the following: 

Rat (born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032, 2044) – First animal in the cycle, considered aggressive, suspicious, ambitious, quick to anger, power hungry, hot-tempered, critical, as well as generous, honest, charming, imaginative, and generous.  It is common for people under the Rat zodiac to be publicists, writers, or critics.  The Rat coordinates well with the Monkey and Dragon, but the Horse should be avoided.

Year of the Rat Page

Ox (born in 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033, 2045) – Powerful, unyielding, stubborn, but also born leaders, great parents, typically successful, upright, inspiring, conservative, and easy-going.  Typical careers would include a surgeon, military personnel, or hairdresser.  The Ox gets along with the Snake and Rooster but the Sheep should be avoided.

Year of the Ox Page

Tiger (born in 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034, and 2046) – Fighting animal, which is aggressive, unpredictable, emotional, yet charming, sensitive, courageous, and capable of giving immense love.  Somewhat of a risk taker, while also carefree.  Excellent positions include anything with supervision, an explorer, matador, or racecar driver.  Love tendencies are strong between the Horse and Dog but the Monkey should be left alone.

Year of the Tiger Page

Rabbit (born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2003, 2036, and 2047) – Affectionate, talented, pleasant, value security, enjoy tranquility, sometimes too sentimental and superficial, cautious, and generally successful in business.  The rabbit would make an excellent actor, lawyer, or diplomat.  The best life partners would include the Sheep or Pig but not Roosters.

Year of the Rabbit Page

Dragon (born in 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036, and 2048) – The Dragon is highly intelligent, gifted, unfaithful, loud, garish, popular, successful, enthusiastic, although also stubborn.  Typically, the Dragon would be a priest, politician, artist, or some type of leader.  Very compatible with the Snake or Rooster but the Sheep should be avoided.

Year of the Dragon Page

Snake (born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2015, 2037, and 2049) – People under this sign are clever, determined, passionate, intense, romantic, charming, and wise, but also tend to be vain and guided strongly by intuition.  The Snake will win money but should avoid being stingy.  The best jobs for this sign would be a writer, philosopher, teacher, fortuneteller, or psychiatrist.  The snake coordinates will with the Ox and Rooster, but not the Pig.

Year of the Snake Page

Horse (born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038, and 2050) – The Horse is friendly, intelligent, popular, cheerful, but also has an impatient, cunning, and selfish streak.  This person is typically a scientist, politician, poet, or adventurer.  The Horse goes well with the Dog and Tiger but not necessarily the Rat.

Year of the Horse Page

Sheep (born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039, and 2051) – Sheep are creative, passionate, artistic, elegant, honest, and warmhearted, but also timid, disorganized, pessimistic, and vulnerable.  The best career for the Sheep would be an actor, beachcomber, or gardener.  The Sheep is very compatible with the Rabbit and Pig and the Ox should be avoided.

Year of the Sheep Page

Monkey (born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040, and 2052) – Very intelligent, clever, inventive, and entertaining, the Monkey can also be discouraged easily and live dangerously.  Often distrustful of other people, they will guard against many situations.  The great thing about being a Monkey is that they will succeed in anything they want to do.  The best compatibility comes with the Dragon or Rat, not the Tiger.

Year of the Monkey Page

Rooster (born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041, and 2053) – The Rooster is hardworking, courageous, eager for more knowledge, strong decision-makers, very skilled, and great with details.  However, the Rooster is also arrogant, shrewd, eccentric, and sometimes, reckless.  The perfect career for a Rooster would be a restaurant owner, military personnel, publicist, or world traveler.  This sign gets along best with the Snake and Ox but the Rabbit should be far away.

Year of the Rooster / Cock Page

Dog (born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042, and 2054) – People born under the Dog are honest, quiet, generous, intelligent, and very loyal while also being a bit stubborn.  They tend to worry about everything, have a sharp tongue, and like to place fault on others.  However, people under this sign are also very successful, making them great candidates for business, teaching, or working as a secret agent.  Tigers and Horses are the best match while the Dragon should be handled with caution.

Year of the Dog Page

Pig – (born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2020, 2031, and 2043) – Very honest, sincere, tolerant, kind, and affectionate, the Pig is also short tempered and impulsive.  Since people under this sign are eager for knowledge, they tend to be successful, especially when it comes to finances, entertainment, or the legal field.  The best match would be the Sheep and Rabbit but Pigs and Pigs do not do well together.

Year of the Pig Page


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