Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! If, like me, you live in a city with a large Asian population, you’ll definitely be celebrating some aspect of this lively and fun holiday. Here in Vancouver, there’s a fantastic parade, a lantern festival and several other events, all of which help ring in the new year in style. And, since this is such a multicultural city, there’s even an event called Gung Haggis Fat Choy, which celebrates both the Chinese New Year and Scotland’s Robbie Burns Day at the same time. It’s an awesome event with poetry readings, songs, dancing and great food (believe it or not, given that haggis is involved).
The best thing about Chinese New Year, other than parades, is that you get to kind of evaluate your new year over again. If, like me, you place a lot of emphasis on the passage into a new year and what it means to you, the Chinese New Year allows you to take a second look at that. This year, the new year comes a little earlier (January 23) than recent years. This difference in our calendar and the Chinese calendar has to do with the fact that the Chinese calendar is lunisolar (based on the moon and the sun, unlike our calendar, which is just solar). Chinese culture places a lot of emphasis on the movement of the planets and the astrological calendar, and their calendar reflects this.
2011 was the year of the rabbit, which meant it was a year of wisdom, thoughtfulness and pause, a year in which you could create a safe and peaceful environment around yourself. By contrast, 2012 is the year of the dragon. The dragon symbolizes power and luck to the Chinese, and a dragon year is one filled with dominance and ambition. So if last year was one in which you hung back and thought about your life, this year might be one in which you take the driver’s seat and steer. Something to think about, isn’t it? Why not take a little more charge of your life? The dragon says so!
So, here’s to an exciting and happy new year for all of our Chinese friends. Gung Hay Fat Choy!
How will you celebrate Chinese New Year? Let us know!
image via ryskiphotos