~ Happy Lunar New Year! `

I promised some things about the Lunar New Year today. The Lunar New Year is based on the Lunar calendar. Today is the day that it is celebrated in China, however, it is celebrated on different dates in other Asian countries.

This year is the celebration of the Metal Rat. The story goes like this:  Buddha invited all the animals to a party and that the first twelve to arrive would be honored. Rat convinced Ox to give him a ride over the river and rode on his head. When they arrived, he jumped down and was the first one to arrive, with Ox then being number two.

Rats have many good qualities – hard working, family orientated, good leadership, and represent fertility – but what they lack is courage to fulfill their dreams. They are very good at saving money although they can be stingy – resulting in being penny wise and pound foolish.

This is a time for family. A time of gifting, especially money in red envelopes. The Dragon and Lion Dances along with a Lantern Festival, are all part of this celebration. During the Ming Dynasty, an entire month would be given over to the New Year. Now there is not even a day-off given for the celebration in mainland China, although it is still celebrated.

Happy New Year! Later! Ciao!

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