08 February 2016

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Time to celebrate the Monkey!
 
This year just happens to be the year of my favorite animal, never mind that I'm the year of the boar/pig!

Sadly, I'm not that in tune with this half of my heritage. I know the basics and we used to celebrate when my Grandparents were alive. Nowadays, we don't generally celebrate. We still wish each other "Gung Hay Fat Choy!" which essentially means have a prosperous new year. Each year differs, sometimes we go out for a nice Chinese dinner and sometimes we don't do anything. I guess it depends on how my Mom is feeling, since she is parent who is Chinese.

Here are some of the basics about the Lunar New Year:

Chinese zodiac years have two different starts:
Solar Calendar - 24 fifteen-day solar terms and the first is called 'Start of Spring' and falls on February 4 (or 5).
Lunar Calendar - has 12 or 13 months and starts on Chinese New Year, which is usually between January 21st and February 20th.

Each zodiac sign is named after an animal. There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac signs:
1. Rat
2. Ox
3. Tiger
4. Rabbit
5. Dragon
6. Snake
7. Horse
8. Goat
9. Monkey
10. Rooster
11. Dog
12. Pig

The Chinese apply five elements into the Chinese Calendar:
1. Metal
2. Water
3. Wood
4. Fire
5. Earth

2016 is a Fire Monkey Year

I'm not sure if you find this interesting or not, but I thought I'd share it anyways. I think most people know the general basics. If you've ever eaten at a Chinese restaurant, you're bound to know what your Chinese zodiac sign is. They've done great marketing over the years, by just putting this information on their place mats. It's always a conversation starter, but it starts and ends at that meal generally! I always get a kick out of Googling my sign and seeing what it says, sometimes it's accurate, sometimes its not. What does yours say?

I want to wish you a happy and prosperous new year, filled with love, happiness, joy, and good fortune. 

A smile will gain you 10 more years of life. - Chinese Proverb 
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