A total eclipse of the sun a week before the Beijing Olympics will spook the superstitious but Chinese authorities have no reason to fear for the Games, astrologers and feng shui experts say.
The phenomenon was once seen by China's emperors as a portent of disaster, and astrologers predict some turbulence this time too, probably on the stock market and maybe even on the streets.
However, any trouble will not be powerful enough, they say, to disrupt the world's largest international sporting event or unduly worry China's rulers.
Mak Ling-ling, one of the most renowned feng shui and astrology experts in Hong Kong and author of many books, said the eclipse might bring small-scale political turbulence and problems to the transport and communication networks in Beijing during the Games.
"Protests and chaos on the street are very likely but they will not do any permanent harm to the Chinese authorities," she told AFP.
China may play down any association between the eclipse and the Olympics to avoid being mocked for being superstitious -- but Mak said it had a long-time practice of consulting feng shui experts when selecting athletes.
"The national teams give me the date and time of birth of the athletes and ask me to calculate and identify the ones with a strong will and a real chance of winning international games," she said.
"No Olympics teams have consulted me about the eclipse but I believe if the authorities are really worried about it, they would seek help and do something discreetly without letting outsiders know.