Chinese New Year—time to celebrate all things Monkey

Gung hay fat choy! Chinese New Year begins on February 8, and 2016 is “Year of the Monkey”. If you want to see some actual animals to celebrate, you’re in luck, because they’re right here in the US.

If you’re thinking that monkeys don’t naturally occur in the Unites States, you’re right. But there are monkeys in Florida and they’re pretty adorable. According to Wild Florida, there is a well-established population of rhesus monkeys along the Silver River in Central Florida (a quick drive from Gainsville) that has been there for almost 80 years.

There are a few different theories about how the monkeys came to call Florida home. One is that the monkeys escaped the 1933 filming of a Tarzan movie. The other is that they were intentionally released by a jungle cruise group at Silver Springs. Either way, we’re happy there’s a place to visit upwards of 400 monkeys right in our own backyard, especially in 2016.

If you are a “Monkey” (hint: if you were born in a multiple-of-12 year, like 1980 or 1992), here are a couple of important things you need to know:

  • Lucky numbers: 4 and 9 (Unlucky numbers: 2 and 7)
  • Lucky colors: white, blue, gold (Unlucky colors: red, pink)
  • Lucky directions: north, northwest, west (Unlucky directions: south, southeast)
  • As for relationships, “Monkeys” are best with Ox and Rabbits and worst with Tigers and Pigs

Gotta love the “Monkey’s” traits:

People born in a year of the Monkey are witty, intelligent, and have a magnetic personality. Personality traits, like mischievousness, curiosity, and cleverness, make Monkeys masters of practical jokes. Though they don’t have any bad intentions, their pranks sometimes hurt the feelings of others. Monkeys are fast learners and crafty opportunists.

If you’re celebrating, we wish you a safe and happy Chinese New Year!

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