2016 is the Chinese Year of the Monkey. 2016 Chinese New Year Date is on
8, 2016. The Year 2016 is the 4713th Chinese year. The first king of China was the Yellow King. He ruled the nation in 2697 B.C., therefore China will enter the 4713th year on February
8, 2016. Also, the Chinese Year uses the cycle of 60 Stem-Branch counting systems and the
Red Fire Monkey is the 33rd Stem-Branch in the cycle. Since (60 *78) + 33 = 4713, therefore 2016 is the
Red Fire Monkey Year.
Monkey King - Journey to the West
When it comes to the monkey, Chinese immediately think about the Sun Wu-Kong, the Monkey King. On February 8. 2016, Chinese New Year Day, the movie of The Monkey King 2 will be released in China. (see poster) . This movie is a sequel to 2014 Monkey King (watch trailer).
Monkey King is a main character in the Chinese classical novel Journey to the West. Monkey King was born from a stone and acquired supernatural powers from a Taoist master. It's very naughty, went to heaven, stole an elixir of life, ate many peaches of longevity, and then rebelled against heaven. All guardians or generals of heaven cannot conquer the monkey. Finally Buddha tamed and jailed it in the bottom of Five-Element mountain. The monkey had to wait Master Xuan-Zang monk for 500 years to rescue it. Then the story of Journey to the West began. The monkey had to escort the master monk to bring Buddhist sutras from India to China. At the time of the journey, the stone monkey was about 850 years old.
The story of Journey to the West is based on the true story of the Buddhist monk Xuan-Zang (602-664) of Tang Dynasty who traveled alone to India for the original scriptures of Buddha's teachings. The novel was originally published anonymously in the 1590s during the Ming Dynasty. Later Chinese accepted Wu Cheng-En (1506-1582) as the author. The Journey of the West contains strong colors of Chinese mythology, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. It's a novel for all ages to learn Chinese culture.
The name of Sun Wu-Kong was given by its Taoist teacher who taught it the immortal and magic powers. The last name means grandchild in Chinese. The first name is awareness and is vacuity. The monkey learned 72 different body transformations into animals or objects. It can duplicate itself using his hairs. It can travel on the cloud as the transportation. It can jump 108000 Chinese miles (54000 km) away just turn a somersault. It has x-ray eyes and can can see through any disguise or transformation of demons. Its ears can hear the voices from miles away. It can shrink its body and transform as a small flying animal. So it can get into the demon's body.
The weapon of Monkey King is a golden staff, which was a post of the palace of Dragon Kingdom in the ocean. The post weights about 8100 kg. It can grow as tall as you want or shrink to the size of a needle. It's very heavy and Monkey King keeps it in its ear.
The story of Monkey King or Journey to the West has been adapted for TV drama, movies, cartoons and opera so many times. To understand the icon of Monkey King in Chinese mind is to watch the Beijing Opera of Monkey King.
Chinese New Year is the biggest event in Chinese world. The Chinese New Year Eve is the day of family reunion. Every Chinese will try their best to go home to have dinner with parents in the Chinese New Year Eve. Then Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year for 15 days until Chinese Lantern Festival.
Chinese New Year Day 1; New Year Celebration