This week, after the Chinese Zodiac blog post, I was delighted to receive a lot of questions both on Facebook and our website (www.notjustaprincessworld.com) – thanks for all your comments, it is GREAT to get feedback! Some of the questions asked were “I’m a Dog, what does that mean? Is this year a special year for me? Is there anything that I need to do!?” I’m a dog too so I have had this conversation with both the in-laws and an actual fortune teller! (Disclaimer: I don’t really believe in all of this, but I love the idea of it so I’m going all in on it! Ahaha) So, Ben Ming Nian (本命年 in Chinese) refers to the year of zodiac animal in which one was born, from the other post (Link to Chinese Zodiac ), you know that there are 12 Chinese animals and every 12-year cycle they repeat, so every 12 years you have your “Ben Ming Nian”. According to Chinese Astrology, this is actually an UNLUCKY year and not a good one. Many people believe that illness, job losses, financial loss, martial affairs, and misfortune can happen so many people avoid getting married, moving house, travelling, starting a business, setting up a dating profile etc throughout this particular year to try to protect themselves! How do you protect yourself from this bad luck!? Well… firstly you need to wear RED! Red shoes, red belts, red socks, red insoles but mostly (pay attention, this is the important part!) Red Underwear! Now… you can’t just go and buy some red boxers, briefs of lingerie yourself. No, no, that would be tempting fate! Your undergarments must be purchased by a family member. Cue my confusion back in October when I’m sitting on the sofa watching some Chinese documentary with the family and my sister-in-law pops by and throws a load of red boxer shorts at me!! Now I’m not a huge fan of my smalls being bandied about a living room, so I was really confused about why everyone was so happy to see it happening! Safe to say they were all loving the fact that my sister-in-law wanted to keep me safe in my “dodgy, unsafe” year! Funny though, I’d say it took her a long time to find them because most Chinese guys are quite slim, and I’ve always had problems buying clothes there (I haven’t had a “Chinese” size waist since I was about 5!) so these bad boys were 5XL!!! Hahaha I’d be a M/L everywhere else! Other things that you can do to protect yourself during this year is to adorn yourself with Auspicious Jade accessories. I have been given some shockingly ugly accessories like this in my time – once I was given a Jade Ghost that was to go on my belt, it was very expensive and truly a hideous piece of stone! Thankfully I was robbed of this in 2009. However, on hearing of the loss of this truly treasured possession, I was given a medallion, not a small tasteful medallion either, a massive Jade medallion that would make Disco Stu’s eyes pop – if he had this back in the day he would have hung up his gold for sure!! Have a look… So, in conclusion, what should you do to keep yourself safe? 1. Don’t go falling in love! That would be foolish! 2. Don’t change jobs or think of asking for a pay rise! 3. No buying houses or moving apartment guys! 4. Wear as much Red as you can!! (There are tasteful ways to do it!) 5. Wear some Jade Accessories if you can! There are some lovely pieces (Although no-one ever thought to buy me one! Hahaha) Happy year of the DOG Guys!