|By Tom Sloper 湯姆 斯洛珀
2017年 1月 1日
2017 is the year of the Rooster. The Chinese zodiac calendar actually doesn't align with the Gregorian calendar (the name of the Western or Christian calendar we're all familiar with) - the Chinese calendar is a lunar calendar, meaning the cycles are based on the phases of the moon. So the year of the Rooster doesn't actually begin on January 1; it'll officially begin on January 28th, and end on February 15th, 2018. But every January I get emails from readers wanting to know why I haven't posted the Chinese New Year hand yet, so I've knuckled under, and now this column celebrates the Chinese New Year on January 1. You don't need to know any of the above, so don't read it!
The Chinese zodiac is a 12-year cycle, so every 12th year is a year of the Rooster. There is a lot of information online about you, and about your fortune in the coming year, if you were born in the year of the Rooster (1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005). I'm not going to repeat that astrological idea here; since only one twelfth of us is a Rooster, that would leave eleven twelfths of us out in the cold, with no idea what to expect from the coming year. Astrological forecasts are out there on the worldwide web, for those who are interested in pecking it out.
Let's get to the fun part: my special mah-jongg hand for the Year of the Rooster. This hand can be made in any of four ways (there is flexibility as to the pair). It's a two-suit hand, with "2017" in one suit, and a pair of 2, 0 (white dragon), 1, or 7 in a second suit. It's an exposable hand; the kongs of E and W may be exposed in the normal way from a discard, and the singles and pairs may not be made from discard except in the case of mah-jongg. Zero can be used with any suit.
The hand is worth maximum value (whatever scoring system your group uses). Gung hei fa choi!
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