Friday, February 16, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year! 2007 is the year of the Pig. Feburary 18, 2007 marks the first day of the New Year in China. If you were born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983 or 1995 - you were born under the sign of the pig also. Legend has it that in ancient times, Budda asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He said that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in pig years tend to have excellent manners, make and keep friends, work very hard, and appreciate luxury. They are very loving and make loyal partners.

The Chinese New Year is the most celebrated holiday in China. It is also the longest holiday lasting for 15 days. Red is the color of choice as it is believed to signify fire. Fire is believed to ward off evil spirits. People wear and decorate with red. Children receive "lucky money" in red envelopes. Fireworks are a big hit also. It is believed that the loud popping sounds scare off evil spirits also. Families come together to eat, drink, and be merry! Sounds familiar!

On the 15th day of the New Year is the lantern festival. 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 by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets.

Last night Greg and I celebrated the New Year by eating at Pei Wei. If we get our referral in early spring 2008 then Mari will be born the year of the Pig! What a wonderful year 2007 will be! Have a great weekend.

Happy Chinese New Year!

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