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Chinese New Year

Creative Commons photo by LukePrice88 via Flickr

Creative Commons photo by LukePrice88 via Flickr

Today, February 8, 2016 is the beginning of Chinese New Year, a 2-week festival celebrated at the start of the new moon.

The Chinese zodiac consists of a 12-year cycle, each year of which is named after a different animal that imparts distinct characteristics to its year. Chinese tradition says that the year of a person’s birth is a primary factor in determining that persons’ personality traits, physical and mental attributes and degree of success and happiness throughout their lifetime. This is the Year of the Monkey – so if you were born in this 12-year cycle (i.e. 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968 etc.) you are thought to be “very intelligent and are able to influence people. You are also an enthusiastic achiever, but are easily discouraged and confused.” Others look at this as something fun, but about as meaningful as a fortune cookie.

Chinese families traditionally gather tonight for an annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for “every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.”

Redding CA is not very ethnically diverse; locally, Asians comprise only 3.4% of the population, compared with 13% Statewide. However, in some parts of the State, such as Cupertino CA, Asians comprise 63.3% of total population.

Today is always a good day to celebrate and have fun!


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