Welcome to the Year of the Fire Monkey. I was born in the year 1956, which in the Chinese Zodiac, makes this the first year since my birth that this combination has come around.
It is said to be a year for new and inventive ideas.
The above portrait of Hanuman - a Hindu God in the form of a Monkey, was commissioned by a fan of both Danger Dogs and Hanuman. The one above is the only one I have left.
Each artist was told to paint a portrait of Hanuman and no other advice was given. I think it is wonderful that each is so very different from the others in style and mood. Sagar's version of Hanuman is cheerful and colorful, lively and idyllic.
Another very masculine portrait of Hanuman shows him ripping open his chest to reveal Lord Rama and his consort Sita. This folk art portrait is hand painted on metal by the artist Baba.
"The Chinese Zodiac attaches different animals to each lunar year in a cycle of 12 years. Lucky colors for the Year of the Red Fire Monkey include white, blue and gold. This year's lucky numbers will be 4 and 9. Lucky flowers include chrysanthemum and crape-myrtle (a kind of ornamental Chinese shrub). Take note, Red Fire Monkeys - you'll need a few of these to perk your year up while you doggedly face southwest..." This year is considered to be unlucky for those born in the year of the Red Fire Monkey, so I will have to tread carefully.
Happy new year (Kung Hai Fat Choi to my Chinese friends)! I hope you have a prosperous and healthy new year.