It’stheYearoftheTiger,butChinesefortunetellerssayit’llbearoughpatchfortheworld’smostfamousone:disgracedgolferTigerWoods.Otherpredictions:tryingtimesforUNSecretary-GeneralBanKi-moon,turmoilinthefina...It’s the Year of the Tiger, but Chinese fortune tellers say it’ll be a rough patch for the world’s most famous one: disgraced golfer Tiger Woods.
Other predictions: trying times for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, turmoil in the financial markets, spikes in fire-related natural disasters and a crucial period for US President Barack Obama.
Under the school of feng shui - the traditional Chinese practice of predicting fortunes through dates and classical Chinese texts - the new lunar year starting Sunday is associated with the natural elements of metal, wood, thunder and fire. Metal is a symbol of righteous action - like waging war. Thunder and fire symbolize volatility, while wood feeds the fire.
It’s a recipe for geopolitical tensions and drastic market movements, feng shui experts say.
"People will try to take on the strong and help the weak. They will try to help their fellow brothers. They will help friends who are being bullied. This year will be more violent," Hong Kong feng shui adviser Raymond Lo said, noting that the previous Year of the Tiger associated with metal was 1950 - the year the Korean War broke out.
The Chinese zodiac operates on a rotation of 12 different signs, or animals. People who are entering a year whose sign is the same as their birth year’s are considered "in clash" and may have bad luck, according to feng shui belief. But while Chinese fortune tellers give tigers a conservative outlook this year, the zodiac sign that causes the most serious conflict this year is the monkey.
The most notable monkey in world politics is Ban. The South Korean "will face a lot of trouble this year," Lo said. Other famous monkeys include Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, NBA star Yao Ming, singers Diana Ross, Celine Dion and actors Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas, Owen Wilson and Daniel Craig.
The world’s best-known "tiger" - American golfer Tiger Woods - actually isn’t a tiger nor a monkey, according to the lunar calendar. Born December 30, 1975, the 14-time major winner is a rabbit.
But Woods’ birth date is associated with metal, which clashes with the presence of metal in the coming lunar year. So after admitting to cheating on his wife and taking an indefinite leave from golf in December, the 34-year-old can expect more personal trouble this year, predictions say.
"His long-term fortune is on the decline," Lo said.
As for Obama, there are differing interpretations. The American president’s birthday is August 4, 1961, making him an ox. According to Lo, the tiger is a lucky "nobleman" for people born in years ending in the digit "1" and Obama’s birth date is associated with the natural element of earth, which is complementary with metal because minerals come from the earth.
"He will shine with flying colors," Lo said, adding that the American leader will become more aggressive in pushing his agenda. "His foreign policy may be tougher."
rough patch: 难关，困难时期
take on: to oppose in competition 同……较量
zodiac: the imaginary area in the sky in which the sun, moon and planets appear to lie, and which has been divided into twelve equal parts each with a special name and symbol 黄道带（天球上的十二个等份区，各有其名称和符号，日、月、行星分布其中）
with flying colors:出色地