Happy (Lunar) New Year!

January 26, 2009 by Gabriel Harvey

Welcome to the Year of the Ox!  Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year as celebrated throughout much of the world and marks the beginning of the Spring Festival, a fifteen day celebration of renewal and togetherness.

This year, 2009 (also known as the year 4047 on the lunar calendar beginning with the reign of legendary Emporer Huangdi) is the Year of the Ox on the Chinese Zodiac Cycle.  We can all learn a thing or two from our friend, the ox, who is a hard working, determined, logical and loyal fellow.

But even with all that bovine self-discipline, a little extra luck never hurt, so here are a few traditional Eastern practices to help get a little extra good luck for the year.  Open your doors and windows to let the luck in.  Switch your lights on for the night to keep away bad spirits.  Eat some sweets.  Bathe yourself in pomelo leaves.  Most importantly, it is believed that what is done on the first day of the New Year will reflect what is to come for the year, so try and make it a good day.

Also, it is customary for married couples to give out red envelopes of money to unmarried friends.  For the record, it should be noted that I am unmarried and love to receive red envelopes full of cash.  So to you and yours, Happy New Year -- enjoy and take care in the Year of the Ox!

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