Chinese to make money, not marry, in Lunar New Year

Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:35am EST
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By Farah Master

BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - For many Chinese, the Year of the Tiger promises to roar in more economic prowess and global clout for their country, but couples planning to get married are better off waiting until 2011.

Despite decades of rule by the officially atheist Communist Party, superstition is common in China, and certain popular beliefs have surged in popularity following landmark economic reforms started in the late 1970s.

Twelve animals make up the traditional Chinese zodiac, with each year having its own peculiar and unique beliefs, some specific to certain provinces, such as being especially an auspicious time to give birth or open a new business.

The tiger sign is believed to bring with it mythical heroic powers, but the coming lunar new year is said to be an inauspicious one for marriage.

"If you marry this year, your husband may die earlier," said Joyce Lin, 25, a university graduate. "My parents are not superstitious, so I am also not, but in our opinion it is not a good time for marriage.

In the poor eastern inland province of Anhui, some people think that having a "tiger baby" is not a good idea, lest the child be too aggressive.

Babies born in the afternoon are seen as "hungry tigers," meaning they will have problems finding food later in life, some Anhui residents believe.

But many younger Chinese choose to follow only certain traditions.   Continued...

<p>A worker carries a replica of a tiger head which they use for the Chinese Tiger Dance, ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations at a shop in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur February 9, 2010.REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad</p>