With Spring Festival—a.k.a. Chinese New Year—fast approaching, I can't help but feel homesick. This is such a happy, joyous time all over China and throughout Asia. It's the birth of a new year, and many consider it turning a year older as well.
Birthstones are common knowledge for most in the west. There is a stone assigned to each month, and many of us grow up receiving little trinkets with our personal gemstone for a birthday or holiday gift. Not as widely known, there is also a stone associated with each Western Zodiac sign.
In celebration of my second home, I thought I would share with you some insight into your Eastern Zodiac sign in 3 parts. If you're looking for a change in your clothing/jewelry wardrobe, or if you're thinking about adding to it, put a twist on it and choose something that compliments your animal sentiments.
If you don't yet know your Chinese Zodiac sign—your 生肖 or shēngxiào—there are many websites that you can visit to find out. Cafe Astrology has a decent, no-nonsense page for you to look up your birthdate.
The following is some fashion advice for those born in the year of the Rat, Ox, Tiger and Rabbit.
In the origin story of the Chinese Zodiac, the Rat was the first to cross the finish line in the great race. Those who are born in the year of the rat tend to be creative problem-solvers. They have a balanced duality when it comes to finances, scrimping and saving in lean times and indulging when the money is flowing.
The element associated with the rat is water and their color is black. If you were born in the year of this ingenious sign, it gives a nod to your inner mouse to choose flowy clothing in your sign's color. With all of the gorgeous black jewelry out there, your choices for your accessories to match your sign are plentiful. Choosing a single jewelry image for this article was not an easy task...
Loyal and on the conservative side, it is common to find many born under the sign of the Ox in military careers. Oxen are logical and known for their strength and endurance. It is said that if you are going into business, partner with an ox. It is believed that through their patience and practicality, they bring prosperity.
Oxen are associated with the earth and their prime color is yellow. If you are born in the year of the ox, you can show off your strength through your clothing by choosing items with a military influence. For jewelry, gold might be an obvious choice if you want to stick with your power color. However, there are many unique gems in this hue. Tigereye is an old favorite of mine, and is also said to have healing properties for the spleen, nails and liver.
It is not uncommon for Tigers to become successful entrepreneurs. Self-sufficient and self-confident, tigers prefer to be in control of their own lives in every aspect, from romance to business. They flourish as their own boss and their independence is one of their greatest strengths.
The element for the year of the tiger is wood, and their color is green. With jewelry, why not show your tiger independence with a unique piece made of wood? Expert craftsmen like Gustav Reyes use a cold bend process to create stunning jewelry that is truly one of a kind. With clothing, tigers are doubly in luck. Not only is there a shade of green that will look amazing with every skin tone, but brown (the color of wood) matches beautifully.
Rabbits are very giving communicators. Family and friends occupy the top spots in their life. Their organizational skills coupled with their deep compassion for others makes for many successful rabbits in areas like politics, therapy and education. It certainly helps that rabbits are generally expressive and well-mannered.
Rabbits share an element and color with Tigers. However, Rabbits are more delicate, and your style should reflect that. A gauzy dress or shirt in a brilliant green would suit a Rabbit to a tee and accentuate their classy but slightly conservative side. Peridot is a sweet gemstone that is a light, olive green and pairs beautifully with silver. Being a malleable metal, silver can easily be worked into intricate but light designs for jewelry.
Now you have one more way to further personalize your style based on your animal personality traits. For the other 8 Chinese Zodiac signs, don't despair... We'll be posting two more of these for you leading up to Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) on February 10, 2013.
In the mean time, you can read up on your Chinese animal as it pertains to not only your birth year, but you birth month, day, and even hour. It's quite fascinating. Have you found that your personality traits match up with your Chinese sign? Do you strongly favor the style of an animal that isn't your own sign? Let us know in the comments!