Around the world, many people use astrology and horoscopes to gain a deeper understanding of life and themselves. People often say things like, “I cry a lot because I’m a cancer,” or “We get along because we’re such compatible signs.” In China, the parallel of zodiac signs are zodiac animals, which change annually.
2021 is the year of the Ox. It is believed this year will bring luck and good fortune. In other cultures most people’s zodiac signs vary and everyone has a different horoscope, but in China, the zodiac animal of the year provides everyone with the same horoscope and predictions for the year.
The Lunar New Year is Friday. It is a time for celebration. Extended families meet up to eat dinner together, set off fireworks and exchange red envelopes. The envelopes contain money that represents good luck for the new year.
Christina Yang, a Chinese-American sophomore at IU, said that at these celebrations, most Chinese people eat food that sounds like a blessing. For example, fish is often chosen because the last character sounds like a blessing of abundance.
Yang said that rather than focusing on the zodiac animals themselves, more Chinese people like to focus on the characteristics that come with it. For example, a person born in 1998 would be a tiger, and a person with a tiger as their zodiac animal is believed to be brave, unpredictable and stubborn. Not every Chinese person is very superstitious, but some people like to use their zodiac animal as another way to identify who they are.
This is arguably similar to how a lot of American people who believe in zodiac signs and horoscopes like to use them to explain their personalities and find deeper meaning in life through them.
I don’t know much about astrology. I have personally been told things like, “Oh, you’re kind of different from how a Scorpio normally acts,” not knowing what that really meant. Zodiac signs and zodiac animals seem to be how many people choose to express themselves.
In South Korea, many people place a lot of value on their blood types. Like zodiac signs, Koreans attribute certain characteristic traits to each blood type. A Gallup Korea study found that six out of 10 Korean adults believed that each blood type came with certain character traits, with most people favoring the Type O blood.
As a Korean-American who has Type O blood, it is interesting to see these studies because I remember a memory from childhood where a girl with another blood type told me that we couldn’t be friends because we wouldn’t “mesh well together.” I was hurt and found it awfully ridiculous. However, she was born and raised in Korea and I was born and raised in the U.S., so it could’ve merely been a difference in culture and viewpoints.
All in all, zodiac signs and horoscopes seem to point to a sense of deeper meanings in life. They add depth and character to each person and are a large part of many cultures, only differing in form. These differences are what makes humanity so interesting.