Welcome to the Year of the Monkey!

You did it! Another year has come and gone and come again; another Chinese year, that is.

While most of the world recognizes the Julian calendar which marks the beginning of the year on January 1st, the Chinese remain true to their ancestry and recognizes the new year in line with the Lunar calendar. Clearly, the Chinese also recognize the Julian calendar, but continue to hold true to their centruies-old traditions.

This year, the first New moon of the year occurs on Monday, February 8th. It may feel a little late to be celebrating the new year, but the Chinese new year truly marks the beginning of a new, 12-month mooncycle unlike its Julian calendar cousin.

Along with celebrating a new 12-month moon cycle, the Chinese New Year is also coupled with one of 12 sacred zodiac animals. In 2016, the sacred zodiac animal is the Year of the Monkey! Previous Monkey years include 2004, 1980, & 1956.

People born in certain years are said to carry the characteristics of their zodiac animals of their birthyears. Year of the Monkey people are said to be smart, quick-witted, and ambitious, but also irritable and stubborn.

 In addition to each year being represented by a zodiac animal, the Chinese Ney Year calendar also has a cycle of elements: Gold (Metal), Earth, Wood, Fire, and Water. The Year of the Monkey 2016 is under the 'Fire' element, so it is said 2016 is a 'Fire Monkey' year. The five elements further define a person's characteristics for their individual birth year. Fire Monkeys, for instance, are said to be especially adventerous and ambitious.

Here at EcoSmart Designs, we're excited for the year of the Monkey and we're celebrating in a number of ways. While none of our products are made in China, and are instead 100% Made in the USA, many of our pendants, charms, and talismans are representations of ancient Chinese art and culture designs. Astrological star-signs play a large role in ancient Chinese lore as much of the chinese zodiac is based on astrology. You can have your own little piece to honor the Year of the Monkey with astrological pendants from the Zodiac Star Sign and In the Now Zen collections. These timeless collections include not only astrological signs, but also ancient quotes from Chinese culture. To show off your own Year of the Monkey pride, be sure to check out the Animal KingdomChinese Horoscope and Wisdom of China collections which include detailed monkey designs, inctricate horoscope designs, and old-world desgins.

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