Fortune Sticks
The New Year is obviously a time when people are mindful of the future. Often people will seek to have their fortunes told at the temple.

The oldest known method of fortune telling in the world is known as Kau Chime - a set of 78 numbered sticks held in a bamboo case. Holding the container in both hands and shaking it causes one of the sticks to rise and fall out. The number on the stick is cross referenced with ancient texts, and a fortune told. The fortune is generally a short poem or rhyme, and the point is not so much to have a clear picture of the future, but an indication of the possibilities which lie ahead.

The Chinese are not, by and large, fatalistic, though they hold many superstitious beliefs. Therefore, having one's fortune told is more an indication of the conditions ahead rather than actual events. The opportunity therefore exists for people to make the most of their lives by being more aware of the 'environmental conditions' which surround their lives.

" Shake your own virtual fortune stick

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