This week the Chinese community parties hard to celebrate its Lunar New Year. The Chinese New Year is spread out over a 15-day period and the Houston version is jam packed with traditional merriment. Two thousand twelve marks the year of the Dragon, which is said to be one of the most fortunate years. Yahoo! Maybe the Dragon can bring some of that good luck to the country's employment rate.
The Lunar Calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and counts years in phases of a 60-year period. Each year is marked by one of 12 animals or zodiac symbols. There are various stories of how the 12 signs originated, but like other astrological stories, nothing can be 100 percent confirmed. Remember, we are talking about astrology here.
We love astrology and convince ourselves anytime we read our horoscopes that, "Oh my God, this is so totally true! I am like that." The Chinese symbols are a bit different from your standard zodiac fare. Each animal has its own personality traits and if you are born under that sign, you may have some of those characteristics yourself.
How accurate are the Chinese zodiac signs? We've paired each animal up to a corresponding celebrity to see if there is a match. You see for yourself.
The Rat: Ben Affleck
Apparently people born in the year of the Rat are perfectionists. They cross every "t" and dot every "i," which gives them a leg-up on the competition. In Affleck's last flick, The Town, he starred, directed, produced, we wouldn't even be surprised if he also catered the movie. Perfectionist? Yeah, could be.
Rats can also get gossipy at times; they like to chat it up, have a ton of energy and are often the center of social circles. If this scene from Good Will Hunting says anything about Affleck (because he "wrote" it for himself), then this sign is right on.The Ox: Barack Obama
Apparently people born under the sign of the Ox have a tremendous level of self-confidence. They are leaders who in turn build confidence in others. They are the "yes we can" types of people that are able to lead millions of followers to "yes we can" right back. Sound like any current president you may have heard of? Oxes are also stubborn. They veto most things that they don't agree with. The Tiger: Tom Cruise
Vibrant, imposing and exasperating, Tigers are free spirits but very defensive of their property, especially if that property is Katie Holmes. Tigers are commanding types, but they have internal debates and cannot seem to ever make up their minds. A leading man, a crazy couch-jumper, a quiet family type, an over-the-top "watch me" guy, good sense of humor, fanatic Scientologist; this is Tom Cruise. The Rabbit: 50 Cent
Rabbits have the intuition and ambition to move up the world's ladder. They are the motivated types. A Rabbit may, for example, start out as a young drug dealer and go up hill from there. Then, the Rabbit may become a successful rapper, record producer, "actor," G-Unit Clothing Company owner and Vitamin Water pusher.
Rabbits are known for their good looks and, moreover, surrounding themselves with good-looking things. 50 isn't really our cup of tea, but many a lady would beg to differ, Chelsea Handler being one such woman. Surrounded by pretty, shiny things? Oh yeah, 50 is a fashionable dude. Rabbits are also said to stay calm in any situation, as when they are shot nine times.
The Dragon: Crispin Glover
We see some similarities between the "man who was once George McFly" and the sign of the Dragon. Seemingly born with a lucky charm (ehh, not so much), the dragon is the most powerful of any in the Chinese zodiac, although with a notorious reputation for being hot-tempered. We'd agree with the hotheadedness of Glover. As the story goes, the actor was offered quite a bit less remuneration for his role in Back to the Future 2, so he said, "Hell no." When they used an actor that looked just like him, he sued.
According to chiff.com, "Dragons can sometimes be overbearing to lesser mortals who do not share their natural self-perception as absolute rulers of all they survey." If all that they "survey" are bizarre cinematic trilogies starring people with Down syndrome (if you have not seen/heard of Crispin Glover's, "It" trilogy, do yourself a favor and check it out), then we agree with this statement. Dragons often have the tendency to make poor choices, such as Charlie's Angels. The Snake: Oprah
You would never think of the Queen O as being born under the sign of the Snake, would you? However, unlike its animal co-part, the Snake is not a slimy type of person. People born under the Snake are quiet, serene types who prefer to be alone. They can shine, not due to showmanship or braggery, but because of their hard work. They do not have a lot of friends and are very mistrusting of others. Hmm.. could Oprah, perhaps, be hiding her true self from the world? Is she really a recluse, keeping only those she trusts most in close company, like Gale!? Do we need to see the O lady in a different light? It's not because of bombastic ego that she demands the spotlight, but it has just happened upon her?
Additionally, Snakes love helping those truly in need by giving them all of their own favorite things and trips to Australia, which is certainly a necessity.
The Horse: Kristen Stewart
Horse people are a hodgepodge of inconsistencies. They are happy, then sad, prissy, then tough. They star in one of the most popular teen film series of all time and then bitch and moan about their star status.
In terms of their love lives, Horses desire closeness and belonging. Once they find their partner, they immediately feel the need to settle down and have a family; a family of vampire children. The Sheep: Mel Gibson
Of all the 12 Zodiac signs, none is more fitting than the description of the Sheep and its relation to Hollywood's fair-weathered friend, Mel Gibson. As it is said, Sheep are seemingly good folk, who are marred by their sporadic "foot-in-mouth disease." What was that you said about Jews, Mel? Despite their insufferabilities, Sheep always have a good friend nearby to stand up for them. Just recently, Gibson's buddy, Robert Downey Jr., pleaded with the Hollywood elite to give the guy another chance. We've all made mistakes! Haven't we all allegedly hit our girlfriends and screamed profanities at them?
Maybe we need to forgive Mel, as Sheep are a nervous bunch. To make life more manageable, they often find comfort in "religion, astrology or the occult." Yes.
The Monkey: Elizabeth Taylor
Monkeys are lovely creatures. They are happy, charming, full of life and attract attention wherever they go. The Monkey's faults lie only in their constant need to get their way. Taylor was a dynamic and magnetic woman who liked what she liked when she liked it.
Another Monkey trait is their intense passions. They are romantics at heart, but fall out of love as quickly as they fall in it. They like to abandon "projects." Taylor loved so much that she even loved getting married, and then, just as quickly, she loved getting divorced. She was married seven times. The Rooster: Britney Spears
We see some similarities between the traits of the Rooster and our forever fave pop princess Britney Spears, but more disparities. Roosters are smart, logical, practical thinkers and well-dressed. Err... no.
Roosters have big ambitions and know how to get what they want. When they don't get what they want, they can get very testy. They might get so testy that they shave their head and beat your car with an umbrella.
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Roosters are timid and quiet at their cores and can be too concerned about how they look because of a deep-set insecurity. To compensate, they buy overly expensive clothing. Okay, we'll bite. Britney probably is very insecure and does think she is a stylish dresser. Roosters love to entertain and can often be found doing lavish world tours with circus types -- no, we made that last part up. The Dog: Rick Schroeder.
We honestly don't know that much about Rick (nee Ricky) Schroeder, but he seems like a good fit for the Dog sign. Don't ask us why. Dogs are true companions, even under the Chinese zodiac. They are good listeners, have a sense of honor and get along with just about everyone. Doesn't Rick Schroeder just seem like that type of guy?
The Pig: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Pigs are described as "good people." Loyal, caring, honest, supportive and pure of heart; the Pig is an all-around wonderful being. None of this is how we would describe Arnold Schwarzenegger given his highly publicized adulterous affair in which he spawned a secret love child with his housekeeper. We used to really dig the Governator, but after that whole to-do, we just sort of think he's a pig. Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Houston on February 4 and 5 at the Viet Hoa Center. Beltway Plaza at 8300 W. Sam Houston Parkway S. noon - 7 p.m. Admission is free.