Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy New Year!

Yes, it’s that time again, New Years Day! The one we just finished is obviously not the subject of this post. That would be silly. When have I ever been silly? Nope, the Chinese New Year looms ahead of us with the promise of great prosperity and luck, marked by the celebrations of a LOT of people the world over.

Normally, the Chinese New Year wouldn’t concern me too much, but since I teach art classes at the Chinese School in Clear Lake on Saturdays, the New Year celebration means there will be no school on Saturday. So this holiday means something to me because it means something to my students. I decided to find out a little bit about the Chinese New Year.

This year is 4706 and it starts on February 7, and is denoted “Year of the Rat”…hmm, I know quite a few people who must have been born in this year… In actuality though, a number of famous and influential people were born in the “Year of the Rat” including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, William Shakespeare, and Mozart. The attributes of the rat that supposedly show up in people born in the Year of the Rat are that they are quick-witted, smart, charming and persuasive. However, I don’t know of many rats that would welcome the association with the likes of Ben Affleck. But when you’re a rat, it’s hard to make your opinions heard, no matter how insulted you get. They just don’t get much respect. Now, I am sure public opinion about the rat will diminish even more despite the favorable press it gets with this holiday.

The Chinese New Year is apparently one of those floating holidays based on some ancient and inconvenient calendar that Americans are too lazy to follow. Like the most significant holidays observed the world over; Passover, Easter, Thanksgiving and Spring Break, the dates are governed by intricate ciphering and star/moon/planet gazing to determine where it falls on the Gregorian calendar. Last year, the Chinese New Year fell on February 18; next year, we celebrate on January 26. That could cause a good bit of confusion without access to the internet or an astute Chinese scholar.

All of this cultural talk and year-of-the-so-and-so has engendered a measure of curiosity on my part in reference to where I come down in this Chinese horoscope field of study. Every year has a characteristic associated therewith, and persons born in each year bear a resemblance or share characteristics with the year’s namesake. What trait do I share with my birth year, 1959? I delved into the vast collective cyber-brain to extract my untapped Chinese heritage and thanks to the venerable, all-knowing internet, I discovered that I was born in the year of the Fried Pie.

I never took much stock in horoscopes, but this seems to be pretty accurate.


Howlsatmoon said...

Yum. Rat. Fried pie.....'specially the rat. Yah went an got all sentimental on me.....

1959? Horry Clap!! You really are old! Heh, like my baby brother wollf....

Fun Post, buddy

invigilator_tex said...

I am a Rat! Oh yes, and proud to be one. The rat is the first in the 12 year cycle. Leaders of the pack you might say (apologies to Frank Sinatra's ghost).

Have some fun this Saturday and go down to the Hong Kong Market on Bellaire. You'll see lion and dragon dances and a gazillion firecrackers going off all at once. It really is a site to behold, and if you're hungry, eat some dim sum at Ocean Palace. I recommend the stewed duck feet and squid balls.

Gung hay fat choy!

Falcon said...

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time to eat pie, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.

Rob V. said...

Yes, hidden somewhere deep beneath that crusty outer shell there lies hidden a sweet inner self. Just like a fried pie.

aA said...

mr V, yep, that's me!

Anonymous said...

Hey uncle A. Did you know that your favorite niece in GA. is a rat? She was born 24 yeers ago and that would be the yeer of the rat. FYI.

invigilator_tex said...

new year update:

Took the kids to the Hong Kong Market Saturday for the festivities. Great fun! Lion and dragon dances scared my little one, but when the dragon breathed fire she was agog. Duck soup and Chinese pastries completed the day; I think the year of the Rat is gonna be all right.