If you are Asian or Western this is a fantastic time to be in Asia. The Lunar New Year or Spring Festival is celebrated throughout the world but must be experienced in Asia to understand the wonder of it all. To me, as I experienced it, it’s a mixture of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s eve all rolled into one and depending where you live can be celebrated for up to 15 days. To the Chinese this is the Chinese New Year of 4708 and is the Year of the Metal Tiger. The Tiger represents the third year in the 12 year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month, (Chinese: 正月 ; pinyin: zhēng yuè ) in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year's Eve is known as chú xī . It literally means "Year-pass Eve". This year, the first day falls on Valentine’s Day, Feb.14 th . During the 10 years that I lived in Asia, my fondest memories are of the Chinese New Year celebrations. I would join my in-laws that were busily preparing for the New Year buying presents, new clothing, material (lots of red), putting up decorations, and most importantly preparing food. It is tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck (I can attest to this as I have helped my in-laws clean and paint the house). The windows and doors are then decorated with traditional red color cut-paper and Chinese poetry with popular themes of “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with the family. The food will include such items as pig, duck, chicken, shark’s fin, abalone, and sweet delicacies (kueh). The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, the children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes (Hong Bao). The Chinese New Year tradition is a great way to reconcile forgetting all grudges, and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. Want to know more? Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Han Chinese populations, such as mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Koreans (Seollal), Tibetans and Bhutanese (Losar), Mongolians (Tsagaan Sar), Vietnamese (Tet), and the Japanese before 1873 (Oshogatsu). Gong Xi Fa Chai
Tigers : Like the houses of the zodiac in Western astrology, the animals of Chinese astrology are thought by many to dictate personality traits or, in the wider scope of things, even impact world events in any year they rule. Tigers, and those born under compatible signs, will likely benefit from luck or good fortune during a Tiger year (i.e., in 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, and 2022). People that are born in the Year of the Tiger are generally well liked because of their charismatic personalities. Often, failing at a given duty or being unproductive in his personal or professional life can cause a Tiger to experience a deep sense of depression. A Tiger is always at their happiest when they endeavor to climb the ladder of success. Attaining the top spot is his foremost purpose; being in a position of power is her ultimate goal. They are quick learners, need to be challenged and often prefer to work alone. Some Tigers tend to change careers more frequently because they get bored quite easily. They are natural born leaders and perform at their best if working towards positions of power and influence. So once there is no further room for progression, they will often move on to something else. Anyone that is born in the Year of the Tiger is usually straightforward and outgoing by nature. They will never give up no matter how aggravated they may become. But, they are also full of suspicion and at times will take hasty action. Never lose sight of the fact that Tigers are smart and instinctive. Famous People Born in The Year of the Tiger : Sheryl Crow, Tom Cruise, Leonardo Di Capiro, Emily Dickinson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Queen Elizabeth II, Jay Leno, Hugh Hefner, William Hurt, Dylan Thomas, Karl Marx, Marilyn Monroe, Marco Polo, Beatrix Potter, Demi Moore, Lionel Ritchie, Kenny Rogers and Jon Stewart. What animal are you in the Chinese Zodiac & Calendar? Click here to find out http://www.chiff.com/home_life/holiday/chinese-zodiac.htm . Enjoy your Year of the Tiger, Gong Xi Fa Chai! I wish you and your family prosperity, wealth, longevity and happiness in this New Year. Gong Xi Fa Chai
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