Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Which means, "Happy New Year!"

Chinese New Year was Sunday, February 18. I'm a little late in this greeting.

A little info for you:

Arrival of the New Year is an important celebration on the Chinese calendar. It’s a time for cleaning house, repaying debts, enjoying feasts, distributing “laisee” packets (red envelopes that hold gifts of money), remembering ancestors, and renewing family ties. The festival lasts for at least 15 days, until Yuen Sui, or Feast of the Lantern.

The New Year also is considered “everyone's birthday,” a day on which all become a year older and gift giving is prevalent. “Gong Xi Fa Cai” is a typical greeting and means “wishing you luck and prosperity.”

The Chinese New Year is the second New Moon after the winter solstice. It is based strictly on astronomical observations, and has nothing to do with the Pope, emperors, animals or myths. Due to its scientific and mathematical nature, we can easily and precisely calculate backward or forward for thousands of years.

The 12-year cycle in the Chinese calendar recognizes each of a dozen animals in the Chinese zodiac – rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2007 is the Year of the Pig.

Famous people born in the Year Of The Pig include Billy, Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Hitchcock, Mahalia Jackson, David Letterman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

For a really cool picture of a dragon made of 30,000 pieces of porcelain, click here.


Mama Lily said...

Really cool dragon! That was amazing. Year of the pig. interesting. thanks for sharing.

palmtreefanatic said...

wow! you sure have done your homework on this even:)

Rachel said...

Oink oink. It's nice that you are really learning about Chinese history to share with Abby...and of course the rest of the family. I guess I'm like dad...I like knowing these interesting tidbits!

Billy said...

I always knew I liked to eat!