Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Xin Nian Kuai Le

According to legend, in ancient China, the Nián as a man-eating beast from the mountains (in other versions from under the sea), which came out every 12 months somewhere close to winter to prey on humans. The people later believed that the Nian was sensitive to loud noises and the colour red, so they scared it away with explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of the colour red. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations. Guò nián, which means to celebrate the new year, literally means the passover of the Nian.

It is unclear when the beginning of the year was celebrated before the Qin Dynasty. Traditionally, the year was said to have begun with month 1 during the Xia Dynasty, month 12 during the Shang Dynasty, and month 11 during the Zhou Dynasty. However, records show that the Zhou Dynasty began its year with month 1. Intercalary months, used to keep the lunar calendar synchronized with the sun, were added after month 12 during both the Shang Dynasty (according to surviving oracle bones) and the Zhou Dynasty (according to Sima Qian). The first Emperor of China Qin Shi Huang changed the beginning of the year to month 10 in 221 BC, also changing the location of the intercalary month to after month 9. Whether the New Year was celebrated at the beginning of month 10, of month 1, or both is unknown. In 104 BC, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty established month 1 as the beginning of the year, where it remains.

This year is the year of the earth rat. The Online Chinese Astrology interpret the year as follows:
After two fire years, life may seem calmer during this Earth year. That could be deceptive, however, as the Rat never stops moving, especially when it comes to mental activity.

Unfortunately, Earth has a destructive relationship with the Rat's fixed element, Water. This is not disastrous, but it does mean people should not rely too much on luck this year.

On the other hand, the combination of Earth and Rat is extremely positive when it comes to achieving results. The Rat tends to take a lot of risks, while Earth is associated with practicality and stability. This creates balance and can lead to good profits, increased productivity and all sorts of accomplishments. And, under Earth's influence, there could be fewer scandals than in other Rat years.
In view of a stagflation looming in the United States and an expected global repercussion, it is a good advise to not rely on luck alone but creativity, and resoursefulness. With much risk taking and practicality, the expected tumoultous year coudl be a year of accomplishments.

Having that in mind, I would like to wish all Chinese Bloggers and readers, Malaysians and others, a good and prosperous new lunar year. Drive safely for your family gathering.

1 comment:

BigDogDotCom said...

From the keyboard of the Big Dog in the year of the Rat,

Happy Chinese New Year to all Another Brick in the Wall readers.


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