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Animal symbols mark astrological calendar

February 11, 2002

There are 12 animal symbols that mark a year in the Chinese astrological calendar.

The upcoming year is "Horse."

That much is certain.

Is it the year of the "metal horse" or "water horse?"

Is it year 4699, 4670 or 4639?

No one knows for sure and no one is supposed to.

According to some sources, the Year of the Snake ends Tuesday at 11:43 p.m. The Year of the Horse runs until Feb. 1, 2003, at 2:49 a.m.

According to

"The Chinese believe that the first king of China was the Yellow King (he was not the first emperor of China who completed the Great Wall). The Yellow King became king in 2697 B.C., therefore China will enter the 4699th year on Feb. 4, 2002."


Alex Lee of Calexico Martial Arts Academy and Supply said there are some in Calexico who agree with this calendar. He does not.

Other sources, Lee included, think this year is the 4670th year, since those same sources count last year's "Year of the Snake" as year 4699.

According to the Web site, "Jan. 24, 2001, is the first day in the Year of the Snake. That was Year 4698.

"(Some say this is Year 4638, which is also plausible.

Others claim this year to be either 4699 or 4399, which are almost certainly wrong.)"

There is no explanation on why those years would be "certainly wrong."

There is this explanation, though.

"How is Chinese New Year's Day determined?

· In one sentence, the Chinese New Year is the second new moon after the winter solstice.

"It is based strictly on astronomical observations, and has nothing to do with the pope, emperors, animals or myths. Due to its scientific and mathematical nature, we can easily and precisely calculate backward or forward for thousands of years."

So there.

Lee said whichever year your family thinks it is is based on their recognition of a certain emperor.

Fair enough.

Whichever year it really is, people want to find romance — especially with Valentine's Day around the corner.

According to, "If you were born on the month of Cow, Snake or Chicken, or born in the year of Cow, Snake or Chicken, then you will have better chance to have a love affair.

"If you weren't born on those months or years, you can try your romantic luck in the month of Cow (January), Snake (May) and Chicken (September)."

Note: Astrological forecasts pulled from the Internet are included here for entertainment purposes only.

Do not try to pick up women at local bars by finding out if they were born in the "Year of the Cow." You're liable to get smacked.

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