A crafty rabbit has three different entrances to its burrows says Chinese legend – a reference to the smart individual having more than one plan. That may prove good advice on how to navigate the Year of the Rabbit, which began on Thursday.
Even though the rabbit is one of the cuddlier animals in the Chinese zodiac, feng shui experts are predicting the year ahead is likely to have a hard edge or two.
According to feng shui forecasts, the Rabbit year promises tension and secret conflict. As the more feminine yin, rather than masculine yang, is pervasive this year, conflict will go underground, says feng shui master Raymond Lo, who is predicting terrorist attacks.
Something more positive? “The rabbit represents mid-spring when trees and plants are prospering,” says Lo. “It represents youth, motion and activity and so it will be an energetic year with new movements of young people and more young people demanding changes and reform in politics.”
Moreover, the Rabbit is a wood sign, like the Tiger. But in the full zodiac cycle of 60 years – represented by the five basic influential elements of metal, water, wood, fire and earth – it is also a metal year. That is read as ‘metal chopping wood’ – a time of environmental disaster.
For stock investors, it will be a rocky year with the market rising and falling in sequence until it drops substantially at the end of the year, master Wong Man-chiu told the South China Morning Post.
Like rabbits, which by nature move rapidly between different places to hide from predators, investors need to react quickly to change their investment strategies.
The news is best for those who are born in the Years of the Dragon (1952, 1964, 1976, or any year 12 years before or after) and the Dog (1949, 1961, 1973). These astrological symbols can expect more luck as they are in harmony with the Rabbit. That means Dragons can pile into the stock market because a lucky star is shining over their finances. And Dogs can take the plunge in their personal lives, as this year will be an especially good time for them to get married, says United Daily News.
Those born in the years of the Ox (1949, 1961, 1973) and the Rooster (1957, 1969, 1981) can be a lot less cheerful about the year ahead. Oxen won’t see much upside in terms of health and in wealth, says feng shui practitioner Song Shaoguang. And Roosters are going to offend the Heavenly God (Roosters are recommended to carry a dog pendant, since dogs and rabbits are astrologically compatible).
The Year of the Rabbit has also started with a bunny-buying frenzy, with rabbits being purchased as gifts for loved ones (a more practical shopping option than in the recent Years of the Tiger, Ox or Rat, admittedly). High-grade breeds like Holland Lop, Angora and Lionhead are now going for hundreds of yuan, says the China Daily. One retailer told Harbin Daily that the cost of rabbits has more than doubled since the beginning of the year.
“I believe raising a rabbit in the Year of the Rabbit will bring me good luck,” says Jia Rui, 22, who had just bought one for Rmb400 (just over $60). But the Wall Street Journal reports that 26 year-old Li Kejia has found her purchase far from auspicious. The new bunny has already gnawed through her cable TV-cord and devoured her shoes.
Animal rights groups are less impressed by the recent rabbit-buying binge, of course. International campaigner PETA has said that the commercialisation sends the wrong message. It worries too that many owners will abandon their new pets once the novelty wears off. (Surely they’ll walk them down to the local eatery – it is China, after all).
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