Year of the fiery Monkey

AP photo

Today is the start of the Chinese New Year, which happens to be a Monkey year. According to the 12-year cycle of animals in the Chinese zodiac, the Year of the Monkey occupies the ninth place, this one being the year of the Red Fire Monkey. The cycle not only depends on animals, but also on the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Both fire and red stands for energy; aggressiveness is another property of the color red. Can we say that it will be a fiery year?

The word "zodiac" has roots in the Chinese calendar based on a twelve-year cycle of animals. The same pattern is seen in old Turkish traditions, long before the Turks started their westward exodus from Central Asia. Turkic tradition worships nature and shamanistic beliefs are still seen in our daily superstitions. One thing long forgotten is the Turkic animal calendar, which is identical to the Chinese animal calendar. Zodiac practically means "circle of animals," pretty much like a zoo, a garden of zoology. The old Turkic calendar is based on twelve animals, each year represented by another animal character, and according to some scholars, it had a mutual influence on the Chinese calendar, via Mongolian, Kirgiz and Uighur connections. 

There are even some scholars that the Chinese calendar is Uighur in origin, but most sinologists tend to disregard this possibility. One thing is certain: Turks were obsessed with the sky, and their primary deity was of the God of Sky, or "Gök Tanr?." It was the "Gök Kubbe," the "Sky Dome," that lead them in finding their path, both in the sense of a way, as stars are telltale of direction, and in a spiritual manner. The bright blue of the sky is another obsession of Turks. That's why many of monuments in Central Asia have their domes covered in...

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