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Happy New Year!

DragonToday marks the beginning of the Year Of The Dragon in the Chinese lunar calendar.  Actually, this year is considered the Year of The Water Dragon which happens only once every 60 years.  In Chinese culture, the dragon is considered to be the most powerful symbol in the Chinese zodiac.As a Chinese-American, I have been fortunate to experience both cultures growing up.  While celebrating New Years Eve has always been enjoyable, the morning after, not so much!  If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Chinese New Year.  Aside from the fabulous food that was always present during the celebrations, I also received gifts of money in little red envelopes (called Lai See).  Imagine walking into a crowded room with dozens of elders handing you money.  Who wouldn’t like that!

The Chinese people are very superstitious, and every major event brings out incense, firecrackers and other devices to ward off evil spirits.  I remember watching the dragon dances in Chinatown, while plugging my ears to protect them from the loud M80s and firecrackers. The smell of gunpowder (invented by the Chinese) is something that I will never forget!

As we move into 2012, I’m sure that many are hoping for a return to more prosperous times. Below is a link to a news video on Chinese New Year from THV.

2012: Year of The Water Dragon

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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