Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Year of the Pig

Happy Chinese New Year -- more accurately, Happy Year 4,705. This is the year of the Pig. The Chinese zodiac progresses on a 12 year cycle through 12 different animals who rule that year. To determine the animal of your Chinese astrological zodiac,
check out this site.

There are lots of traditions associated with Chinese New Year, many of which can be found on this site run by the Government of Taiwan. Mt favorite story is :
Even though Lunar New Year celebrations generally last for only several days, starting on New Year's Eve, the festival itself is actually about three weeks long. It begins on the twenty-fourth day of the twelfth lunar month, the day, it is believed, when various gods ascend to heaven to pay their respects and report on household affairs to the Jade Emperor, the supreme Taoist deity. According to tradition, households busily honor these gods by burning ritualistic paper money to provide for their traveling expenses. Another ritual is to smear malt sugar on the lips of the Kitchen God, one of the traveling deities, to ensure that he either submits a favorable report to the Jade Emperor or keeps silent.

In the event that reports are made to God about you on this day, it is my dearest hope that these reports are sweet, tender and divinely succulent.


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