• In this April 29, 2015 photo, actor Zhang Jinlai in a Monkey King costume poses next to a wax figure base on his stage performance during a ceremony at the Madame Tussauds in Beijing. The Year of the Monkey gives a little-needed excuse to reference the much loved Monkey King character from the 16th century adventure novel “Journey to the West.” The supernatural Monkey King, also known as Sun Wukong, accompanied a monk on a journey to retrieve sacred scriptures and the story has inspired countless TV shows and movies over the years. Unashamedly trying to capitalize on the new zodiac year, yet another Monkey King adaptation will be released on the first day of the lunar new year - Feb. 8. (Chinatopix via AP) CHINA OUT

    Monkey Year inspires kung fu, predictions of fire, disease

    BEIJING (AP) — The new Chinese year is the one to go bananas over. On Feb. 8, the zodiac calendar enters the Year of the Monkey — the ninth of 12 animal signs. Plastic monkeys are adorning shopping centers and office buildings, and government departments have been giving out toy monkeys.