Although ninth in the Chinese zodiac, Monkey is first in terms of wit and agility. Sun Wukong, the monkey spirit in the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West, is a magical character who can leap 108,000 li in a single bound and transform himself into 72 different forms. He even dares to challenge the Jade Emperor of Heaven. After proclaiming his commitment to Buddhism, Sun Wukong accompanies the monk Tang Seng on his journey to seek the original Buddhist scriptures in the Western Lands (present-day India) and return with them to China. He steadfastly protects Tang Seng along the way, vanquishing numerous demons and monsters. Sun Wukong is a beloved folk hero of the Chinese people.
Despite their intelligence, monkeys can still be tricked on occasion. The Chinese philosophical classic Zhuangzi tells the story of a man who gathered acorns to feed his monkeys. He told them that they would each get three acorns in the morning and four in the evening. The monkeys got very upset when they heard this. The man then told them that instead, he would give them each four acorns in the morning and three in the evening, and the monkeys all cheered up. This story originally was taken to mean that intelligent people are creative and foolish people are clueless, and later became a metaphor for capricious behavior. Another popular saying concerning monkeys is “When the tree falls, the monkeys run away.” This means that when powerful people fall from power, their hangers-on are left without support and will rapidly disperse.
Monkey is the cleverest of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. Monkey corresponds to Gemini in the Western zodiac. People born in the Year of the Monkey are brave and resourceful, energetic and competitive, and enjoy novelty. They have a great thirst for knowledge and astonishing powers of recall. Their eloquence and sensitivity enable them to easily win the trust of others.
However, people born in the Year of the Monkey love to exaggerate and can be quite capricious. Due to their highly playful nature, they tend to be flighty and impetuous.
People whose birthdays fall during the following periods are born in the Year of the Monkey:
The first date indicates Lunar New Year’s Day. The second date indicates the last day of the lunar year