Thoughts To Live By…

Chinese New Year: Year of the Ox

Posted on: January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4707 begins on Jan. 26, 2009.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

An Obstinate Year

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in ox years tend to be painters, engineers, and architects. They are stable, fearless, obstinate, hard-working and friendly.<!–have excellent manners, make and keep friends, work very hard, and appreciate luxury. They are very loving and make loyal partners. Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Hitchcock, Mahalia Jackson, David Letterman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger–> Jack Nicholson, Jane Fonda, Walt Disney, and Anthony Hopkins were all born in the year of the ox.

Fireworks and Family Feasts

At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

The Lantern Festival

In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other’s homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year’s Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events.

The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.

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 aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United States, where the New Year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend. In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and floats.

Author: Holly Hartman
Source: http://www.infoplease.com
Picture: http://www.cyarena.com

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1 Response to "Chinese New Year: Year of the Ox"

While we are celebrating, being grateful for all they good things we have and basking in the warmth of our loved ones, let us do one more thing.

Please pray for a lady, her 3 children, her husband and their parents. Remember to also pass the requests around to all your friends and through your blog.

http://novice101.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/life-prayers-hope-recovery-happiness/

Thank you and ‘Gong Xi Fatt Cai’!.

The Ox year is upon us may this rushing bull be in a great hurry to rush all the good health, happiness, harmony, joy and warmth into your household.

http://novice101.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/chinese-new-year-auspicious-and-propitious/

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