Happy Chinese New Year to all my friends who celebrate this festive season!!
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4710 begins today on Jan. 23, 2012.
The Lunar New Year begins on the first new moon of the new year. For many Asian families in the Far East and around the world, the Lunar New Year is a celebration of change.
Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.
Breathing Fire into the New Year
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in dragon years are innovative, brave, and passionate. Salvador Dali, John Lennon, and Mary-Louise Parker were all born in the year of the dragon.
Fireworks and Family Feasts
At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.
The Lantern Festival
In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events.
The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.
In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United States, where the New Year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend. In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and floats.
source: Peter Tsai
What can we expect for 2012 ~ The year of the Water Dragon??
In 2012 this Dragon year begins on January 23rd and continues until February the 9th in 2013. It indicates a transformational time for world events and important turning points for individuals as well as a high degree of luck. The calm perceptive nature of the Water Dragon will make it a good year that should also incorporate a few surprises.
Dragon years in Chinese Astrology are usually noticeable times of change when they involve Dragons associated with the other elements of Earth, Metal, Wood or Fire. When, as in the case of the year 2012, Water is the driving element influence, it still brings with it transformations but they are calmer. This is because the Water Dragon has more patience than the other Chinese Dragons and is not so reckless in his decision making. He prefers to evaluate situations before taking action and his domination of the year 2012 will introduce only essential important changes. These may be when you least expect them but you can be assured that they will be beneficial in the long term. Adjustments in society structures and peoples world views and development are highlighted during a Water Dragon year.
All years of the Dragon have a traditional association with new beginnings, happiness and good fortune and 2012 is no exception. The Chinese consider Dragon years to be the best times to get married and have children or start a business. There are lots of positive energies for growth at work in 2012 courtesy of the Water Dragon's influential progressive spirit. The Water element influencing this Dragon calms him long enough for him to emit his aura of positivity and direct it sensibly rather than recklessly. His influence will be concentrated in the right places and directed at those who will benefit the most from his lucky air of wisdom. In a Water Dragon led year everyone should be inspired to contemplate the grasping of new opportunities and directions that may present themselves in 2012.
2012 promises to be a dynamic year with plenty of changes underway and the Water Dragon has a valuable message. He advises us to ensure we resolve old issues during this time and to aim to build strong new foundations. The first few months of the Year of the Water Dragon will appear to be quiet and quite uneventful. Once the Spring arrives in 2012 this Dragon's influence will be at its peak as this is this mythical creature's favorite season. We will be reminded of our weaknesses and how to be resourceful and adaptable when faced with difficult challenges. The period around May the 20th to the 18th of June will see the appearance of a Dragon Moon. This is when a Water Dragon's perception is at its most intense and so creates a fortunate time to begin planning anything for the future. This short lunar period's luck for initiating actions applies equally to society as a whole and to individuals.
The Summer and Autumn of the 2012 Water Dragon year is predicted to be filled with a steady flow of additions, corrections and positive developments. This is as the Dragon prompts adjustments and improvements with a sway towards less dependence on artificial foods and materials. The remainder of 2012 is destined to be quieter giving a time of reflection to assess the first results of any changes. This quiet year end may have a couple of unexpected occurrences that although unanticipated are forecast to improve our environment. Any ideas generated in this favorable timespan are likely to be groundbreaking and highly advantageous to mankind's future. There are plenty of ways to take advantage of a Water Dragon's reign on the year if we trust his intuitive vibes of optimistic fearless progression. His message of reassessing situations and determinedly moving forward will make 2012 a year to remember for the enrichment of knowledge and understanding in many areas of life.
Let's see if the predicaments will come out, next year around this time I will come back to this post and see if the Chinese astrology came out!!
Do you believe in astrology??
What animal are you in the Chinese horoscope? If you don't know, look here. The girls and me are horses, while Dirk is a sheep/goat.
Read your 2012 Chinese horoscope here!!
If you want to find out more of the relationships between Chinese astrology and Western Zodiac. Which I found VERY interesting and so true for the 3 of us, see here!
新年快乐！= Happy New Year!