zodiac-monkeySo everyone knows that 2016 is the Year of the Monkey—but what does that mean? In Asian culture, the each Lunar New Year corresponds with a 12-year cycle, with every year representing a different animal from the Chinese Zodiac. The last Year of the Monkey was 2004, before that it was 1992, then 1980, and so on. Each animal of the Chinese Zodiac is blessed with different characteristics, and tradition holds that people born in the year of their animal will exhibit those same traits. So, what are the behavioral qualities normally attributed to the monkey of the Chinese Zodiac? Playful creatures, monkeys are celebrated for their innovation, quick-thinking, lively demeanors and quirky habits. Above all, they’re seen as clever animals, which probably explains why birth rates traditionally rise during Years of the Monkey.

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