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Who Makes Your Luck Posted by on Mar 21, 2019 in Culture

I was talking to my best friend little after Chinese New Year’s Day. She reflected how tough the last three years had been. She was wishing that this coming year would be a lucky year since she is a dog in Chinese zodiac characters.

In Korea, we celebrate the New Year’s Day by following the Chinese lunar calendar system. Not everyone in Korea believes in신년운세(shin-nyun-woon-sae: fortune telling for a new year), but many people would want to predict fortune, at least for fun.

In Chinese zodiac characters, there are twelve animals representing each year. and these animals circulate in a specific order. For example, this year is a year of pig and it will take another 11 years to be a year of pig again. Your luck of a new year depends on what Chinese zodiac sign you are. For instance, my friend is a dog in Chinese zodiac characters and 2019 is a starting fresh year for dogs after three-years of tough times. As you see, your luck is based on which Chinese zodiac character you are. In other words, the interpretation of harmonious relationships between the zodiac animal of a new year and yours will determine how lucky you will be.

Image by Pixabay

According to my brief internet research, this year is supposed to be a blessed year for tigers, rabbits, sheep and mice as Chinese zodiac signs. Although this particular year, 2019, is supposed to be a special year for those animals since it is a year of golden pig, which only returns every 60 years. If you are those lucky animals in 2019, I guess you can enjoy your time. However, I guess you have to be cautious and get ready for life hardships, if you are dragons, snakes and horses because those animals will be entering in time of 삼재(sam-jae: bad three years).


What is Bad Three Years?

As I stated, my friend rationalized that she would be lucky in 2019 because her Chinese zodiac sign was out of 삼재(sam-jae: bad three years.) timeframe. She assumed that she would be lucky in the new year because she had supposedly paid her dues for being unlucky for the last three years.  Her Chinese zodiac character should bring good luck in a year of golden pig.

To be honest, I don’t know how 삼재 works and why it counts as a three-year timeframe. Within my knowledge, it basically means three successive bad years in your life based on the harmony between your zodiac sign and the animal of a new year. When your Chinese zodiac character enters in 삼재 timeframe, it is supposed to be inevitable and you have to suffer for three years. Things won’t go well for those who are in 삼재, such as experiencing failure in business, health issues, even horrible familial disasters. Some people who truly believe in this are willing to pay for fortunetellers, so they can avoid life’s misfortunes as much as possible.

I believe this concept is derived from Buddhism. Neither my friend and I am a Buddhist, but we understand the concept because it is a part of Korean culture.


Image by Pixabay

According to the theory, I was supposed to have bad three years because my Chinese Zodiac sign is a dog as well. Did I have successive misfortune during the last three years? Not really. In fact, I think I had the time of my life. I guess it depends on how you see your life.

There are many belief systems in the world. It is universal that people wish good luck throughout all the years. Things happen in life and we sometimes have to go through bad things. However, I truly believe it is dependent on how I see and react to those life problems. Would I let my fortune teller dictate my life or would I dare to be courageous and execute my plans regardless? It is up to me. Believing obliviously what your fortune teller says can limit your life options. Life is made of choices we make every day, and I know I am the only one who can make my luck whether it is a lucky year or not.


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About the Author: FlyHighOyster

Hi everyone, I was born and raised in Seoul, S. Korea. I have lived in Seattle for a while and I am traveling the world with my husband since 2016. It is my honor to share Korean culture with you all. Don't be shy to share your thoughts and comments! :) Talk to you soon. HJ