San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

The Year of the Rooster Struts In

If the year 4701 didn’t bring you heaps of cash, this new yearmight be your chance to look good and cure cancer. The ChineseNew Year, celebrated this year on Feb. 9, is the year of the goodlooking,science-savvy rooster. It’s the heyday of the hipster, themetrosexual, the groomed sideburn, the waxed bikini line, the mirrorlover, the polished shoe and the shaved neck. Good sense andsuccessful lab experiments are in.Chinese astrologists guess we can expect a year of honesty andpracticality…and some gorgeous handbags. It should be the yearfor fashion.Roosters are perfectionists – more so when their own looks areinvolved. Vanity, however, is just a façade. Under those diamantehairclips and witch’s shoes popular in East Asia, or the bellybuttonpiercings and bell-bottoms popular in Costa Rica, people bornunder the rooster sign of the Chinese zodiac are honest, prudent andobservant. They believe in straight talk and expect the same, andnothing escapes their attention, which makes them experts in law,medicine and science – three fields that pay well enough to fundtheir expensive fashion tastes.Those aspects of the rooster’s personality will permeate thiscoming year. Long lines will form in front of bathrooms as movieandrestaurant-goers preen themselves in front of the mirror, andhousemates will have to wait even longer to shower in the morning– people will get a lot of mileage out of the mirror. More importantly,the rooster’s aptitude for the sciences will trigger landmarkadvances in medicine and technology.The Chinese New Year falls on the second new moon after thewinter solstice. It is celebrated for 15 days. For luck, traditiondemands the color red. Red clothes on New Year’sDay bring luck, the superstition says, and eatingfish brings long life. Don’t wash your hairthat day or you’ll wash out the good luckfor the year, and don’t use a broom oryou’ll sweep away any chances youmight have at success. All the dirt andtrash you sweep in the first five daysof the year must be swept into the cornersof the house, never out the door,or you’ll sweep away a familymember this year.The Chinese may give theirchildren money in red envelopesfor more good luck.Some Chinese restaurants areholding special dinners. The artfullydecorated Asian-food restaurant,Tin Jo, in San José, will hold New Yearevents on Sat., Feb. 19, 12:30-3 p.m. Onthe agenda are a buffet, lion dance, origamidemonstration, a talk about the Chinesehoroscope, cooking demonstrations and lessonson names in Chinese. Kids will be able to learn towrite Chinese and use chopsticks in a children’sactivities room. Prices are not yet determined. Forreservations, call 257-3622.The Fortuna Inn Restaurant in San José will host aspecial New Year’s dinner on Feb. 8. For information, call226-4153 or 226-3741.Chinese markets around the Central Valley are stocked withlucky decorations such as large, colorful cutouts of a lucky couple– boy and girl, mostly in red and glittery gold – red, velvetyballs on strings for hanging around the home, red clothlanterns and red and gold cloth scrolls marked with the luckyChinese phrase, “gung hay fat choy,” which means somethinglike “have a lucky and prosperous New Year.”Recommended Chinese markets in the Central Valley includeAncyfer, on Calle 11, Avenidas 8 and 10, 256-8106 or 223-3082;Supermercado Chino Han San, on the Paseo de los Estudiantes,Calle 9, Avenidas 6 and 8,256-0471; Super Sony, onCalle 3, Avenidas 8 and 10,221-1263; and Super Asia, inTibás, the district north of SanJosé, 500 meters south of theTibás church, 236-3103.And remember not to useknives or scissors on NewYear’s Day, or you could cutoff the luck for the whole year.2005 Forecast Rat (1996, ‘84, ‘72, ‘60, ‘48, ‘36, ‘24…)Devote time and energy to concluding projectsyou are passionate about. In February,your luck shifts abruptly and skyrockets.This will be a year of new beginnings andhappy family events.Ox (1997, ‘85, ‘73, ‘61, ‘49, 37, ‘25…) Lifeand love flow smoothly for practical oxenin 2005. Your luck reaches a pinnacle andnothing can discourage your optimism.The ox and this new rooster year are thebest of friends.Tiger (1998, ‘86, ‘74, ‘62, ‘50, ‘38, ‘26…)For single tigers, your house of “unions” ishighlighted in 2005, and many tigers willfind their future mates. This will be anemotionally and materially prosperousyear, especially during the auspiciousmonths of June, October and November.Rabbit (1999, ‘87, ‘75, ‘63, ‘51, ‘39, ‘27…)Your judgment in financial matters isclouded in 2005, so hold off on any investmentsfor the time being. Do not make anyhasty decisions during this clash of energiesbetween the rooster and yourself.Dragon (2000, ‘88, ‘76, ‘64, ‘52, ‘40,‘28…) 2005 offers popularity, celebrityand an increase in wealth to lucky dragons.Your passionate dreams may well becomereality. Enjoy this auspicious year, complimentsof your soul mate, the rooster.Snake (2001, ‘89, ‘77, ‘65, ‘53, ‘41, ‘29…)Snakes are within the triangle of compatibilitywith the rooster year; in 2005, love isin the works, and you will increase yourincome. Resist any form of greed or temptationto take your comforts for granted.Horse (2002, ‘90, ‘78, ‘66, ‘54, ‘42, ‘30…)In 2005, matters of the heart are extremelyprecarious and fickle for all horses. UseFebruary, July and October for the goodluck and energy necessary to hurdle theseobstacles.Goat (2003, ‘91, ‘79, ‘67, ‘55, ‘43, ‘31…)Esoteric goats feel emotionally and physicallydrained during rooster years.Meditation, calm surroundings and maintaininga spiritual outlook of moderationhelp greatly this year.Monkey (2004, ‘92, ‘80, ‘68, ‘56, ‘44, ‘32…)2005’s focus is on comings and goings, shorttrips or jaunts, friends, relatives and nostalgia.Spend more time on your work, andrefrain from impulsiveness, tricks or amusingpranks.Rooster (2005, ‘93, ‘81, ‘69, ‘57, ‘45,‘33…) In 2005, your energy level rises, butremember to balance your life, time andworkload with sufficient rest. Changes willtake place in your life during this year thatwill set the stage for future progress.Dog (2006, ‘94, ‘82, ‘70, ‘58, ‘46, ‘34…)While not in direct opposition with thedog, rooster years are the “karmic combatants”for those born in dog years. This yearwill give you many occasions to proveyour worth.Pig (2007, ‘95, ‘83, ‘71, ‘59, ‘47, ‘35…) In2005, peace-loving pigs will expand theirhorizons and work on new ideas. Redefineyourself and make a mental commitmentto practice the art of happiness.(Based on

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