Anyone with family elders who consult the Chinese almanac will likely have been gifted talismans and lucky charms, and warned off certain activities, whenever we approach the dawn of a Lunar New Year. Those who dig a little deeper into what it is that your loved ones are warning you against will be familiar with the term “fan tai sui” which means “offending the Grand Duke of Jupiter”, which doesn’t explain all that much. In fact, as most of Chinese lore is linked to astrology, many deities are personified stars and constellations in the night sky. Why Chinese traditions around Lunar New Year are still important today The 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac are based on divisions of Jupiter’s 12-year orbital cycle, with the star thought to oppose Jupiter during each lunar year personified as a heavenly general, cycle god, Grand Duke of Jupiter or tai sui . Over the years, the number of tai suis rose from 12 to 60, based on combining the 12 divisions with the five Chinese elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood. For example, February 1, 2022, will mark the start of the Year of the Water Tiger. Each of the gods’ features and attributes signifies the nature of that year. For example, if the tai sui of the year holds a pen, it foretells political unrest, while one holding a spear or sword means a challenging year with a lot of hard work ahead. For any given year, if your birth sign clashes with the tai sui then a year of adversity or turmoil is ahead. There is an intricate chart to predict which sign offends which of the 60 grand dukes and, depending on their attributes, what sort of trouble lies in store in the year ahead. Sustainable seafood: can lab-made fish maw replace the real thing? There are quite a few approaches to appeasing the grand duke. The most direct would be to visit a temple with a tai sui shrine to perform a ritual called sip tai sui which gets you a protective talisman to protect you against adversities in the lunar year ahead. Do not forget to go back and thank the grand duke before the next new year though or the abated bad luck might be carried forward. Other protections include wearing talismans for the year, or certain feng shui elements that can be added to your home or office. The two zodiac signs most likely to offend the grand duke in a given year are the sign that corresponds to that year (i.e. a tiger in the Year of the Tiger) and the one that sits directly opposite on the zodiac’s wheel (i.e. monkey during the Year of the Tiger). So let’s look at those first and then talk about two other potentially conflicting signs. 11 best Hong Kong films on Netflix to stream over Lunar New Year Year of the Tiger (Those born in 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010) Tigers are in conflict with the tai sui so this year will bring emotional turmoil, challenges and financial loss. It’s said that those of this zodiac should not make rash decisions and also not dwell on their troubles. Attending celebratory or large gatherings with loved ones is advised to help your fortune, and you can wear a talisman of either a horse or dog (that are favoured by this year’s tai sui) to change your luck. Wearing or using more pinks or browns are said to help too. Year of the Monkey (Those born in 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016) Being opposite on the zodiac wheel, monkeys are also in conflict with the grand duke. This year will bring a lot of unpredictable events and unreliable people so it’s said to best avoid big changes in your life such as switching jobs or houses. It’s also said that accidents can easily happen for this sign so it’s best to keep tabs on your health and stay alert to your surroundings. Lucky charms include accessories adorned with either mice or dragons, and surrounding yourself with more green and yellow coloured things will help too. Battle of the rice cakes: Chinese niangao vs Korean tteokbokki Year of the Snake (Those born in 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013) Snakes are said to harm the tai sui, which means this will be a bad year for relationships. Jealousy and gossip will spell trouble so those who are of this sign should watch their well-being and think twice before they speak. Protective talismans include cow or chicken signs, and surrounding yourself with the colours black or yellow should help too. Year of the Pig (Those born in 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007) Here’s why China’s Spring Festival Gala is the most-watched TV show in the world Pigs will be destroyed by the “tai sui” meaning this will be a weak year for this sign. You’ll feel down on your luck and easily get on the bad side of people for no apparent reason. It’s a good time to refresh your surroundings and revitalise your senses with new furniture or decor. A weak year also means a weak immune system so this is a year to keep close tabs on your health. Lucky charms include accessories with rabbits or sheep, and lucky colours are black and green. Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .