Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Year of the Golden Pig

Yes, yes, I know that's not a Golden Pig! But, it is glowing!
Today marks the beginning of Chinese New Year. It always begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice. The celebration or preparation for it begins on the first full moon after the winter's solstice. In China, people take 21 days off from work to travel the long distances to reach their families as it is important that they celebrate the coming of the new year together.
Why is this year called the Golden Pig? Well, there are 12 zodiac signs (of animals). With each zodiac sign, there are four traits; wood, water, metal, fire. Therefore, the complete cycle of the zodiacs takes 48 years. The pig is the last of the zodiacs and fire is the last of the traits. This year marks the end of that 48 year cycle. Oh, and since it is fire, that is why it is golden. Next year, the cycle will begin anew.
Anyway, I researched all of this as I was wondering about the signs and how it all worked. It's really quite interesting; especially all of the traditions that go with the days leading up to the new year.
The other image is of green tea; I paired it with the joss paper which is used in celebration of ancestors (the paper is burned and released in the air). I wanted to convey representations of what lies ahead and what has gone before us.
I like celebrating this new year's better than ours; ours is too soon after Christmas and our traditions involve debauchary of all sorts. The Chinese traditions are steeped in spirituality and philosophy.
Here's to a new beginning! Kung hee fa choy (I'm certain that is not the correct spelling since I spelled it phoenetically)!

1 comment:

Sus said...

"I like celebrating this new year's better than ours..."

Agreed! Although I admit I've never actually celebrated the Chinese New Year but it does seem to have a lot more meaning to it than the standard Anglo-Saxon version. Oh and it has DRAGONS! *lol*


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