Yesterday was the first of the 15 days of the New Year according to the Chinese Calender. This is the beginning of the Year of the Tiger, the third year of the 12 cycle lunar-solar calender.
I have written about a few of the many traditions surrounding the festivities to welcome the beginning of the New Year previously: 2009 - The Year of the Ox; 2007 - The Year of the Pig - somehow or other I missed the year of the Rat in 2008 which may have some Freudian significance??? Be that was it may there are so many traditions associated with the holiday throughout Asia - though we call it Chinese New Years it is a cause for celebration in most Asian cultures.
The story of how many of the customs of the new year began and the story of the animal race that determined the signs of the Chinese Zodiac are explain in a far more entertaining manner than I could muster over at Mental Floss. A click on the good luck symbol below will take you there.
Aside from the food traditions - and Jack if you read this I'm sure Mama's Jiaozi were as wonderful as ever - there is also the tradition of sending hui chun or good luck messages to family and friends. These hopes and wishes for the New Year are hung around the house or office in the hope of bringing fortune in the coming year. The people at Discover Hong Kong have a web page that allows you to send hui chun to friends expressing your hopes for their health, prosperity and happiness in this Year of the Tiger.
And if you haven't already done so you might want to check out your Zodiac sign by right clicking on the image and see what the coming year holds for you.
And finally this word of warning for the coming year:
The year of the Tiger is traditionally associated with massive changes and social upheaval. Therefore, 2010 is very likely to be a volatile one both on the world scene, as well as on a personal level.
With that in mind this Hui Chun is for one and all:
15 febbraio - il anno della tigre