Friday, 31 January 2014

Galloping into the Year of the Wood Horse

First amongst the traditions for Chinese New Year is to give your home a good spring clean. Recent new regulations suggest that the Chinese domestic shipping industry will be embarking on a phasing out of older tonnage whilst some of the major Chinese owners seem to already be following tradition and have earmarked some of their old ladies for scrap. With the outlook for the Year of the Horse looking better than the preceding Year of the Snake, many other owners might be tempted to give ageing tonnage another quick lap round the block, so perhaps a more strict adherence to this custom could give us all a better chance of prosperity in this equine year.

In advance of the celebrations, it is also traditional to pay off your debts. Improved markets mean that we haven’t got charterers pleading poverty to the same extent as the last few years, but no doubt there are quite a few European bankers who will be hoping their clients follow this particular tradition.

With new clothes traditionally being worn on the first day of the New Year, the run up to the celebrations sees a veritable shopping frenzy, particularly for shoes. We seem to be seeing the shopping tradition being followed in the newbuilding market to an alarming degree, with that old favourite, the VLCC, making a particularly dramatic comeback to the orderbook in the last few months of the old year. All these new ships might not be coming out during the Year of the Horse but does this rush to the shops mean the Year of the Monkey and Rooster in 2016 and 2017 will be grim? Only time will tell, but perhaps if shipowners follow another tradition of not buying new clothes for a month after Lunar New Year, we might be spared the worst.

Whether you are consulting an astrologer or one of the numerous research reports which drops on your desk every day, trying to make sense of the year ahead has never been more difficult. The optimists seem to be convinced that this year will be better than the last, and based on how awful shipping markets were for the first nine months of 2013, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Others point to the wild volatility we have already experienced in the first month of this calendar year as evidence that the horse is going to give us all a wild ride. How ever it turns out, may be it be a happy and healthy year for you all.

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Galloping into the New Year

A sea of shoppers and tourists throng Temple Street in Singapore’s Chinatown district as in the weeks prior, the Chinese community prepared to welcome the Year of the Wood Horse in the Chinese astrological calendar. This year, the Chinese Lunar New Year falls on January 31.

While decorative horses ‘gallop by’ in the background, the giant yellow signboard against the facade People’s Park Complex is a reminder that nothing stands still. It belongs to Five Stars Tours, which abruptly closed down on January 8, leaving thousands of passengers who had bought bus tickets and tour packages from the tour agency stranded.

Some 6,000 passengers, mostly Malaysians who had booked express bus tickets to return home for Chinese New Year, scrambled to make alternative plans as they found their plans trampled by Five Star Tours’s closure.

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Chinese New Year 2014 - Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year 2014 (The Spring Festival) falls on January 31, 2014, and is the year of the Horse. Year of the Horse is the seventh year of Chinese Zodiac. Chinese people group years into a twelve year cycle according to lunar year, and assign each year an animal symbol, which called Chinese Zodiac. The twelve animals are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. A person born in the year of a particular animal is said to have the traits of that animal.

Generally, Chinese people believe that those born in the year of the Horse are mostly hardworking and considerate, though maybe a little arrogant.

Characteristics of people born in the year of the Horse
People born in the year of the horse are generally energetic and out-going, ingenious in communication, and most of them always want to be in the limelight. They are cheerful, perceptive, talented, earthy but stubborn and sometimes bad-tempered. They like entertainment and really like to join in large crowds and parties. They are popular among friends, active at work and refuse to be reconciled to failure, although they don’t have much sense of perseverance.

Horoscope and Numerology Elements of people born in the year of the Horse

Earthly Branch of Birth Year: wuWu Xing (The Five Elements): FireAuspicious Directions: northeast, southwest and northwest
Lucky Colors: brown, yellow, purple; Avoid: blue, white, golden
Lucky Numbers: 2, 3, 7; Avoid 1, 6, 5Lucky Flowers: calla lily, jasmine, marigold
Zodiac Sign Compatibility - Best match: tiger, sheep, dog; Avoid: rat, ox, rabbit

Years of the Horse:
Start Date
End Date
25 January 1906
12 February 1907
11 February 1918
31 January 1919
30 January 1930
16 February 1931
15 February 1942
4 February 1943
3 February 1954
23 February 1955
21 January 1966
8 February 1967
7 February 1978
27 January 1979
27 January 1990
14 February 1991
12 February 2002
31 January 2003
31 January 2014
18 February 2015
17 February 2026
5 February 2027
4 February 2038
23 January 2039

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In Chinese Year of the Horse, dogs will have their day

China will ring in the Year of the Horse this Friday - and like with any fresh start, questions abound about wealth, health and matters of the heart.

For many in China, Feng Shui masters and their astrological readings and predictions are merely a fun activity to pass the time. But for the superstitious, horoscope experts provide important guidance for the coming year.

In recent years, NBC News has had the pleasure of consulting with Feng Shui master, Chen Shuaifu, the 61-year old chairman of the Chinese Feng Shui Association, which has more than 50,000 members.

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Flying Stars feng shui for 2014

The Year of the Wood Horse signifies all the vitality, excitement and strength of its namesake, and brings a year filled with adventures and challenges. But before you go riding headfirst into the New Year, you may like to find out what Flying Stars the Horse will bring to your home this year.

Prior to revealing the best sectors, we will dish out the unpleasant ones first as these are the ones you may want to pay close attention to so that you may know what to avoid in 2014. The Northwest sector is probably the most dangerous sector as the #5 Yellow Star resides here this year.

For the safety of the property's occupants, you may want take great pains to keep this sector quiet and inactive due to the #5 Star's association with calamities, injuries and accidents. If avoidance is impossible, place metal objects made of copper, brass or iron to defuse the negative effects of the #5 Star - but do not aggravate this sector by performing any renovations or ground breaking.

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Feng Shui Masters at Odds Over Prospects for Year of the Horse

The Year of the Horse, which begins Friday, is a dangerous one for investing, according to Master Koon, a Hong Kong-based feng shui master.

The Chinese zodiac runs on a 60-year cycle, as the 12 animals occur in combination with each of the five elements of traditional Chinese cosmology: wood, water, fire, metal, and earth. The “wood horse,” which is up this year, represents “instability and disruption,” Master Koon said. A previous wood horse year, 1894, saw war break out between China and Japan – hardly an auspicious sign.

“Property, the stock market, the economy, politics—they’re all unstable,” said Master Koon. “So investments need to be conservative.” Master Koon’s analysis flatly contradicts that of brokerage CLSA, which argued in a recent report that the Year of the Horse would be a good one for stocks. Based on its own survey of five feng shui diviners, CLSA calculates the Hong Kong stock market’s benchmark Hang Seng index will likely rise 28% over the next year.

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Chinese can’t say neigh to feng shui in year of the horse

Asia may have modernized over the years, but Chinese around the region still turn to local geomancers for advice as the year of the wooden horse gallops in.

Seeking advice on feng shui, an ancient science aimed at creating balance, may be a case of "I don't believe in ghosts, but I'm still afraid of them."

While feng shui is usually used to position objects and in architecture, the more superstitious believe it can divine the future, and many seek out feng shui masters and geomancers to choose auspicious dates for life events, such as marriages.

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Saddle up for Year of Horse

Conflicts, disasters, record high temperatures, an economic chill in Asia and more trouble for Justin Bieber — the upcoming Year of the Horse is set to be a dramatic one, say Hong Kong feng shui masters.

With the Year of the Snake slithering into history, they say that the incoming Lunar New Year beginning on Friday is going to be the kind of horse that you shouldn’t stand behind — because it incorporates the volatile element of fire.

“With this being the Year of the Wood Horse, and with wood being very combustible, there will be a lot of scandals, conflicts, explosions and arguments,” celebrity feng-shui master Alion Yeo told AFP.

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Ready for the ride?

THE Year of the Horse will be full of vigour and will be marked by increased productivity and prosperity. The global economy will continue to improve, says feng shui expert David Koh, founder of Malaysian Institute of Geomancy Sciences.

“The world economy appears to have bottomed out as predicted last year, and is slowly recovering,” says Koh. Industries that fare well will be Water- and Metal-related. Water-related industries include insurance, finance, banking, fisheries, sea freight, trading, night entertainment, and businesses such as coffee shops, launderettes, spas and gyms.

The Metal-related sector covers the legal profession, civil service, defence and security, engineering, machinery, gas and petroleum, mining, automobile, transport, aerospace, airlines, sports goods, air courier services and tourism.

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Galloping into year of challenges

The Year of the Wood Horse gallops into the foray today, signalling the start of a new year of challenges for Malaysia's economy and businesses, according to a feng shui expert.

Feng Shui Gateway Sdn Bhd founder Louis Loh (pix)said that the nation's economic health could be less than ideal this year as a result of external instability and advised those who plan to start a new business this year to reconsider. Loh based his reading on the country's yin wood (soft wood) character in the bazi (destiny code), which is calculated using its Independence Day on Aug 31, 1957.

Bazi belongs to the Chinese metaphysic sciences, literally meaning "eight characters" in Chinese and are also called "four pillars of destiny". It takes into account the birth date, which comprises year, month, day and hour, to determine a person or country's, unique personality and potential.

related: Saddle up for a bumpy Year of the Horse, warn H.K. astrologers

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Horsing around and other CNY happenings

There’s been a surprising amount of activity and buzz in Hong Kong in the lead up to this year’s Chinese New Year.

With Christmas just behind us, I half expected things to remain pretty quiet until after the Lunar New Year, but it’s been the complete opposite.

With such a short window between the two, perhaps there’s more to squeeze in? But what ever it is, what a way to get 2014 started.
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The Year of the Horse: Ringing in Chinese New Year in Hong Kong

For more than a billion people worldwide, the true start to the year arrives Jan. 31, Chinese New Year. Welcome to the year 4712! With the coming Year of the Horse (the Wooden Horse, to be precise), the Lunar Festival promises an extreme year of adventure and romance, and also chaos and market fluctuations

Chinese New Year is the kind of holiday we can all get behind: a 15-day celebration centering around food and family, with traditions designed to attract luck and fortune. Nowhere are the festivities more exciting than in Hong Kong, a vibrant East-meets-West city dripping with glamour and rooted in tradition.

With 7 million people crammed onto a landmass one-third the size of Rhode Island, Hong Kong is often thought of as a pulsating urban jungle. Indeed, you'll find a city awash in skyscrapers, Michelin-starred restaurants, dapper British bankers and flashy stores eager to eager to max out your credit card.

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Horse Year won't be easy, but creativity is key in facing challenges

FENG  shui experts predict   that 2014, the Year of the  Wood Horse,  will be    another challenging year,   but the people    will   be more creative in adapting to  limited resources and power.

Good Feng Shui analyst Master Kenny Hoo labelled the year as "The Noble Year", as it was associated with the "Noble Qi", which are strong, challenging, transformative and surprising.

"There will be lots of ups and downs in all fields and sectors, especially in the first half of the year. However, things will be more stable from July."

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8 things Singaporeans are searching for on Google

A colourful fireworks display lighting up the night sky over the Floating Platform @ Marina Bay to mark the official start of the River Hongbao on 30 January 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM CP

What are most Singaporeans looking for this Chinese New Year?

Google search results show how Singaporeans prepare for the festive season.

The following are the most popular Chinese New Year-related search terms on Google from Jan 1 to Jan 28:

1. Chingay 2014

2. Pineapple tart recipe

3. Abalone

4. Horse

5. Feng Shui 2014

6. Chinese New Year

7. Chinatown Singapore

8. Lunar calendar 2014

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