The Chinese New Year celebration -- which will last for 15 days, starting from Jan. 31 -- is just around the corner and, thus, the year of the Wooden Horse is upon us.
Said to have a free, loving, kind and independent energy, the Year of the Wooden Horse will be a good year for the travel and tourism industry in Indonesia, feng shui practitioner Gunadi Widjaya told The Jakarta Post Travel during an interview on Monday.
It is also a good year to visit Indonesia because the country is said to be free from potentially dangerous natural disasters that could definitely ruin a fun trip.
“Apart from the flood, which is something that has occurred in this country annually, there will be no big disasters happening this year,” said Gunadi, who has been practicing feng shui for 15 years.
The Year of the Wooden Horse will also be one in which people travel a lot, especially for business or to make money.
“The more they travel, the more money they will get,” said Gunadi, adding that budget hotels will enjoy the biggest impact from this since people will prefer to choose affordable accommodation instead of five-star hotels to save money due to their busy travel plans.
In the Chinese lunar calendar, one complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five simple cycles of 12 years each, with one animal assigned to each year of the cycle -- rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
During the complete 60-year-cycle, each of the animal signs is combined with the five main elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The element of an individual’s lunar sign is believed to influence their life.
Many people, especially the Chinese, take great interest in their animal signs, or Chinese zodiac, as they believe it has the power to tell them something about their future, and to guide them through life.
During the Year of the Wooden Horse, for example, people born in the years of the rat, dragon and monkey are said to be the ones who will travel a lot for business or their careers.
“While those born in the year of the ox, rooster and snake will be traveling to reconnect with their families and friends, the tiger, horse and dog will be traveling for pleasure or holidays, and the pig, rabbit and goat will be traveling to visit relatives for reasons such as weddings and funerals,” said Gunadi.
Feng shui is the art of geomancy, which literally means “winds and waters” and is widely practiced in many parts of the East.
The aim of feng shui is to live in balance and harmony with nature. The result of such practices should be health, wealth and happiness.
In feng shui, the birth data of an individual is symbolized by elements according to the year, month, day, and hour of his or her entry into the world. Each is represented by the Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branch elements. Therefore, if the complete birth data is known, there will be eight characters.
The basic philosophy is that, when the elements in our body are balanced, we will enjoy good health. However, if there is too much or too little of any one element, the conditions may bring about illness and discomfort.
Many customs must be practiced to maintain the correct balance in feng shui. For example, beds and staircases should never face doorways, and the number four is a bad omen meaning death. Most Chinese buildings will skip the 4th, 14th and 24th floors, and will avoid having room numbers that include the number four.