12 지신 (Ji-shin) or Korean Animal Signs
새 해 복 많이 바드세요! (sae hae bok manhi padeu-seyo) means “may you receive a lot of blessings in the new year”. It’s how we greet each other during the lunar new year in Korea. We celebrate the lunar new year for three days. This year, the holiday fell on January 22-23-24. The 23rd is the actual start of the year.
From the Chinese, the Koreans also have adapted the 12 지신 (ji-shin) or Korean animal signs. These are:
쥐[자(子)] (“chui” or rat), 소[축(丑)] (“so” or ox), 호랑이[인(寅)] (“ho-rangi” or tiger), 토끼[묘(卯)] (“tokki” or rabbit), 용[진(辰)] (“yong” or dragon), 뱀[사(巳)] (“pem” or snake), 말[오(午)] (“mal” or horse), 양 [미(未)] (“yang” or sheep), 원숭이[신(申)] (“won-sungi” or monkey), 닭[유(酉)] (“dak” or chicken), 개[술(戌)] (“ke” or dog), 돼지[해(亥)] (“dwe-ji” or pig).
How do you ask for someone’s animal sign in Korean? “띠가 어떻게 되세요?” (tti-ga eo-tteoh-ge dwe-seyo) or “무슨 띠세요?” (mu-seun tti-seyo)
It’s fun to read about your fortune for the new year, especially when they’re quite favorable. I don’t really believe in fortune-telling or astrology. I just try to think positively and have “good vibes” all the time ;p