Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve!

Chinese New Year is probably celebrated by a quarter of the world now and is the biggest celebration of the Chinese community.

In addition to the 12-year zodiac animal cycle, there is a cycle of five elements making a 60 year cycle. This year was a Red Dog year and tomorrow will be a Red Pig or a Fire Pig year. This year is Dīnghài 丁亥, the 24th year of the Sexagenary Cycle (1887, 1947, 2007, etc.) I think we started hearing more about the bigger cycle in 2000, a "Golden Dragon Year". (Yes, I heard the odd rumor of it being a “Golden Pig” but it is just a rumor, perhaps started by some fortune tellers in Korea. No folklorists will support it.)

Monday, January 29, 2006 started a Red (Fire) Dog Year, 4704
Sunday, February 18, 2007 begins a Red (Fire) Pig Year, 4705

The next 12-year cycle starts on:
Thursday, February 7, 2008 with a Brown (Earth) Rat Year, 4706.

A Fire Pig year is good for expanding families and businesses. Feng shui experts say that this Year of the Pig will be a turbulent year and not peaceful, but it may be a good year for scholars.

In Japan I have been told that 2007 corresponds to Heisei 19, and while it is also a year of the Pig for them, many reports say they prefer the “Year of the Wild Boar”.

(I hear that that a golden pig year might not be so good for expanding businesses.) The Year of the Dog was supposed to be a good year to be married – but I have learned that in some parts of China, the divorce rate went up too, especially for newly married! Perhaps some who rushed into marriage for the year of the dog(?) decided it was a mistake. Regardless, they are no longer married and don’t have to decide whether it would be good for them to have a child this year.

China Daily reports that it may not be the best year to have a child in China. "Many couples are planning to have children during the next lunar year in anticipation of good luck, but the Year of the Pig baby boom may result in a rise in population that will affect children's future education, job prospects and even retired lives.” (Or see a China empire's prettier post of the same article.)

Bill Hadju, at Chinese says that "Health issues vary not only by sign but by individual. Your best bet is to visit a Chinese doctor to have your balances checked and get some advice for the coming year. It is a Fire year, so one thing we can say in general is to be on the lookout for signs of stress and a tendency to overextend one's self." Not bad advise for many of us - in any year!


Anonymous said...

When does Lunar New year officially end?


Robin said...

On day 15 with the Lantern Festival.

The fifteenth and last day of Chinese New Year celebrations is Lantern Festival (or Yuanxiao Jie), on the full moon night. This year it is: March 4th, 2007.

Even in China they no longer get 15 days off.


Anonymous said...

erm is tat mean chinese new year eve is on the 7th? or 6th?

Robin said...

In 2008, Chinese New Year start on Feb. 7th, so the "eve" is February 6th. However it is a 2 week celebration!