In Brief

Chinese New Year: What does the year of the rooster mean?

Why Prince Philip, Beyonce and Roger Federer should take extra care this year

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Make way for the year of the rooster. Chinese New Year falls on 28 January and roughly a sixth of the world will be taking part in the festivities, greeting each other with "gong xi fa cai" or "gong hey fat choy" - "happy New Year" in Mandarin and Cantonese respectively.

Celebrations take place across two weeks and occur not just in China, but also Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, as well as in cities across the world with Chinese immigrant populations.

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the year of the rooster, following on from the year of the monkey, and the elemental sign is fire.

The way the system works – with 12 animals and five elements (the others are water, wood, earth and metal) – it is a combination that only occurs once every 60 years.

People born under the fire rooster are said to be trustworthy and have a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work. They are also supposed to be popular, talkative and loyal – although the Daily Telegraph [1] warns they can be a little sensitive, stressed and moody.

Chinese horoscopes say that the year of your birth sign is actually the most unlucky, so roosters such as Prince Philip, Beyonce and Roger Federer need to watch out and avoid red and the numbers one, three and nine.

Still, the stars can be misleading. Last year, one leading Chinese astrologer forecast the monkey would lead to more women being in power - specifically Hillary Clinton. And look what happened there.

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