We have been busy preparing for our second New Year celebration of 2011, Chinese New Year, which kicks off today, February 3rd. Aside from hanging scrolls, lanterns, and dragons around the house; we cleaned—to keep the good energy/spirits within our home, significantly encouraging good fortune for 2011. We will be making and eating an abundance of Chinese food (especially long noodles for a long life) this weekend when we get together and celebrate with families who have also adopted from China.
We’ve been doing this for years, ever since our oldest daughters joined our families. Most of our daughters are now teens and, if possible, more excited about this important cultural holiday because they understand and enjoy the significance as well as being actively involved in it. The girls help with the many dishes we will share and eat, but their favorite is the preparation and steaming of the dumplings. In fact, if the parents and younger kids don’t pay attention, they may miss tasting the fare because the girls tend to eat the dumplings soon as they’re ready.
For our family, Chinese New Year is just as important as Día de los Tres Reyes, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other cultural and religious events and holidays. And, for the first time ever, we’ve had conflicts for our time. There was no question as to what we should do; the other activities were dropped. As a multicultural family we made it clear that Chinese New Year was the priority.
This is the Year of the Rabbit, the fourth sign in the Chinese Zodiac. According to the Chinese Zodiac, people born in the year of the Rabbit are the luckiest. Their lives begin and end well. Rabbits are nimble, quick, cautious, and clever. Even though they may appear frail and gentle, they are strong-minded and willed.
The Chinese zodiac calendar follows a sexagesimal (sixty-year) life cycle. As I pointed out in an earlier post, Aubry begins her second celestial stem (“second twelve”) of her first life cycle this year.
2011 is the Golden Rabbit, a year in which we can catch our breath and focus on calm. We look forward to replenishing ourselves and our chi (energy) and living in the moment with those who bring immense joy and light into our lives. And, if you are also celebrating the Chinese New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai!
恭喜發財 (Congratulations and Prosperity!)