Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year, 2012...

Based on the lunar calendar, Monday, January 23rd, is the Chinese New Year, and the first day of the 'Year of the Dragon', that will end on February 9, 2013. This 5th sign of the Chinese Zodiac signifies luck, and those born under it hold certain traits attributable to the only animal on the list that technically isn't real.

Since I was born in 1964 (feel free to skip the math on how old that makes me), I am a "Dragon".  More specifically a "Wood Dragon".  There are some traits that are strong in the "Wood" variety.  The ability to get along with others, and the willingness to entertain others opinions, bolstered by a need to always be the dominant half of a relationship.  A strong artistic side, fueled with an enjoyment of being creative and innovative.  The artistic aspect is something I will own being a very artistic individual, but the need to always be dominant...I don't know about that one...guess you would have to ask my friends and family...

In general, the sign of the Dragon is a symbol of power.  They are very passionate and charismatic. They are generous, smart, and have wicked senses of humor.  Always willing to double their efforts, a Dragon will use their innate abilities and talents to get the job done.  When a lot of people think of Dragons, they think of 'fire breathing'.  Dragons can definitely be hotheads, and can get quite angry when annoyed.  They are not shy, and demand respect. But just as easily, they can show their compassionate side, too.  Dragons do have a soft spot, and can be good friends/allies.  Want to be in a relationship with a Dragon?  Here is some food for thought...



The 2012 New Year beginning on the 23rd, is a 'Year of the Dragon', but more specifically a "Water Dragon".  Those who have the distinction of being a "Water" Dragon, are among the kinder, gentler Dragons.  "Water Dragons" are able to see things from others' points of view.  They are milder in manner, water calming the Dragons fire.  They don't always need to be right, and make decisions based on thorough research.  They work well with others.

The New Years Celebration/Spring Festival of January 23rd, marks a lengthy celebration period that will end on February 6th, with the Lantern Festival, also known as the Yuan-Xiao Festival.  We are exiting the Year of the Rabbit, which was characterized by calm and tranquility.  We are about to start the Year of the Dragon, that will be more about intensity, excitement, and unpredictability. I am looking forward to seeing what the coming year will bring.  I hope for some positive energy and change for the better.

Peach blossoms (a symbol of the Spring festival) hung with the traditional Red Envelopes that are given out on Chinese New Year.  The envelopes symbolize good luck, and are said to ward off evil spirits.  Money is traditionally placed in the envelopes.  The amounts always need to be in even numbers, as odd amounts are for funerary reasons.  Also, money should not be in numbers that include 4 (4, 14, 24, 40, etc.) as the number 4 symbolizes death. 

A traditional food of Chinese New Year is 'Nian Gao', or 'Glutinous Rice Cake'.  The sweet treats are traditionally made with sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates, and Lotus leaves.

A vendor getting her New Years wares ready for sale.

Some of the beautiful lanterns that will be seen everywhere from New Years Day through to the
Lantern Festival on February 6th.

Happy Year of the Dragon!

1 comment: