Ben Ming Nian

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Red to avoid ill fortune in one's Zodiac Year of Birth

In Chinese tradition, Ben Ming Nian (本命年) refers to the year of zodiac animal in which one was born. As there are 12 animals (Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig), one undergoes a 12-year cycle to reach his or her Zodiac Year of Birth. Take the coming Chinese Year of the Dragon (which falls on Feb. 16) for example. Those who were born in the Year of the Dog (1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006) in the Gregorian calendar reach their Zodiac Year of Birth. In line with traditional custom, those who meet with their Zodiac Year wear red to avoid ill fortune.

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