Tag Archives: Chinese New Year

Welcome to the Year of the Rabbit!

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Today is the first day of the Year of the Rabbit, and I welcome you.  Having two pet rabbits, Cypress and Pinto, this particular Chinese New Year is especially close to my heart.  I love our furry little ones, and hope I’ll look back on this year with love and affection, too.  Some years are more challenging than others, and though 2011 has gotten off to an extremely rocky start, I hope this Year of the Rabbit will have been a good one when it’s done.

A Bit About the Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional holidays celebrated by the Chinese.  Preparations begin well before the big day arrives, and the celebration and related activities can last as long as fifteen days.  As the New Year approaches homes are thoroughly cleaned, to clear out any bad luck and to make ready for good luck.

New Year’s Eve is celebrated with an elaborate meal, and families share dishes such as chicken, fish, dumplings, and noodles.  They also enjoy sweets, including cakes and oranges.  Firecrackers are often set off at midnight.

New Year’s Day is commonly spent visiting family members, and red is the color.  Important at New Year’s and in Chinese culture overall, red decorations reign supreme and red clothes are frequently chosen for New Year’s.  New clothes and a fresh haircut symbolize a new beginning.

Gifts are also exchanged.  The most common gift is that of money, which is given in red envelops, and the money is given in even denominations for good luck.  (Whether a number is even or odd is determined by the first digit in the number, so the number 25 would actually be even.)

How Often do Rabbits Get Their Own Year?

The Chinese follow a 12-year cycle, and each of those 12 years is attributed to an animal.  Therefore it’s the Year of the Rabbit every 12 years.  I can’t begin to imagine what my life will be like when the next Year of the Rabbit rolls around, and won’t even try.  Instead I’ll content myself with giving my rabbits an extra baby carrot or two to celebrate “their year”.  After all, they’d just try to chew and eat a cash-filled red envelope!

Warm regards,
Melody

Photo above: Pinto, our male rabbit.  Doesn’t he look adorable in the red basket?

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