Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Year of the Metal Rabbit

Today is Chinese New Year’s Eve. In less than two hours, it will be the Year of the Metal Rabbit. The Chinese horoscope says that the year of the rabbit is a welcome respite after the tribulations of last year’s Year of the Tiger. I have also read that because this year is a Metal Rabbit, it carries a little bit more of a kick than an ordinary year of the rabbit.

This lunar year begins tomorrow, February 3, and ends January 22, 2012. Since the new year falls before February 4, it is considered a lucky year for romance and marriage. It is also a good year for endurance and creativity. The rabbit energy likes comfort and serenity in its surroundings. The metal energy implies courage to face the changes in the world around you. And rabbit years are supposed to be good for healing. They are also supposed to be relaxed and more easy-going than other years. It may be a year to forget the rules!!

People who are born in the year of the rabbit are supposed to have temperaments like rabbits. They are serene and easy-going. They are peaceable, sensitive, and creative. They like to be around other people, but they do not like conflict. They love their homes, and their homes are usually well-kept and nicely decorated. My mother is a rabbit, and this description seems to fit her.

In Chinese mythology, the Rabbit is related to the moon. Some Chinese see a hare in the moon with the elixir of immortality in his hands. The moon represents the power of Yin, which is dark, secret, and passive. People born in the year of the rabbit tend to be lucky naturally. Their business deals tend to go well without much effort. Rabbit years are supposed to be lucky for pretty much everyone, as the luck of the moon and the rabbit rub off on all. So many Chinese horoscopes warn people not to get too lax in the year of the rabbit.

On New Year’s Eve, Chinese tradition says that each household should finish their spring cleaning before the evening meal. Everyone in the family puts on new clothes before dinner—preferably bright red clothes. They all eat together in the biggest family get-together of the year. Dinner consists of many special dishes like dried meat, sausages, different kinds of rice cakes, and always there is fish. Everyone eats a little of the fish, but there has to be fish left over at the end of the meal. This means that the family will be prosperous and will have abundance to spare at the end of the year. After dinner, unmarried people get red envelopes of money from the married people. Once you are married, you are expected to grow up and contribute. Before you are married, you can relax and enjoy the bounty of the family. After you get old and your children are married, they give you red envelopes, too.

And everyone says: 恭喜發財,紅包拿來! Then you get a red envelope like the one here.


Lyndi Lamont said...

Sounds good to me. :) Happy New Year, Teresa.

Teresa said...

Hi Linda,

Happy New Year to you. Gong Xi Fa Cai!! (Congratulations and may you proper!)

Cloudia said...

Chris sent me a lovely red new year card!

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral


Teresa said...

Red is the luckiest color. Glad for news of our favorite scribe.