The lunar new year and first solar eclipse on the same day

January 26 comes with two huge events this year: the lunar new year (or Chinese New Year, for those of you lion dance and firework lovers) and the first solar eclipse of the year!

The lunar new year of the earth ox is the second zodiac of the cycle. It is the craziest time to travel to China this time of year, and unless you have a really important reason to be in Shanghai or Beijing or you really like loud noises and smoke, it may be best to avoid these crowded meccas this week.

America’s new President, Barack Obama, happens to be born in the year of the ox, so this year will be particularly special for the States. The general outlook this year is rather grim, however, as domestic trouble is ahead of us. According to the expert astrologers at, “The last time the earth Ox was seen as the ruling influence was January 29, 1949 – February 15, 1950. The world suffered a recession in late 1948 and early 1949. The world economy recovered during the year of the ox due to rational decisions and careful planning. By 1951, the recession was over. Many will be searching for a quick solution to the current economic crisis, but the ox favors a well planned, consistent path that will take more time but lay a foundation for long lasting results.”

To ring in the year of the ox, you are advised to fly a kite, make lots of noise, eat, and wear red.

As for the first solar eclipse of the year, residents and visitors near the Indian Ocean are in for a treat. Explains NASA, “An annular eclipse will be visible from a wide track that traverses the Indian Ocean and western Indonesia. A partial eclipse will be seen within the much larger path of the Moon’s penumbral shadow, which includes the southern third of Africa, Madagascar, Australia except Tasmania, southeast India, Southeast Asia and Indonesia.” This eclipse will transform the sun into a dark disc with a bright ring around its rim. It will also look like someone took a bite out of it.

The first total solar eclipse of the year, reports Gadling writer Kraig Becker, will not happen until July 22 across India, Nepal, Bhutan, and China.

Monday will be quite a day and, with all of the festivities around the world, it’s not a day to stay inside.