Kung Hei Fat Choi! Today is Chinese New Year! May you all have a prosperous and bountiful New Year. Yesterday Hong Kong was a bustling place, people were busy preparing and buying gifts. The festivity lasts for 3 days. CNY is what I would say equivalent to Filipino Christmas and New Year, except maybe that we start preparing as early as September. Anyway, as they prepare to celebrate CNY they also prepare for their luck the coming year. They go to temples to pay respects to their departed and bow to their Gods. They bring food and drinks to offer to their departed and Gods. After which they determine what their luck will be the whole year based on the year they were born, which is called Chinese astrology.
Chinese astrology is based on the 12 animal signs based on one’s year of birth and each sign repeats on a 12-year cycle. Unlike the Western astrology that is read/predicted everyday, Chinese zodiac is a yearly reading. There are many stories of where it has begun but in Buddhism, it is believed that Buddha summoned the animals of the before his departure but only 12 animals came and as a reward, he named a year after each of them and the years given to them depends on the order they have arrived. I am a rabbit and according to my reading, rooster and rabbit are a bad match so this year I have to work very hard for I will experience a lot of struggles. To balance the luck, my mom bought me amulet to diffuse such luck. She bought me a combination dragon pig and snake. I don’t see anything wrong with following these traditions that the Chinese people have believed for hundreds of years. I also think that it is a way of embracing the diversity of our culture, a way to connect with other people especially if you are in a foreign land. To know more about Chinese astrology or your animal sign I will put links that I find helpful. Enjoy the New Year! Remember that we write our own destiny and these are just guide, it’s still your decision to follow or ignore it. Faith, prayer and confidence in yourself is still stronger than anything.