Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Welcome the Year of the Dog

Gung hay fat choy! (roughly translates to "may you be prosperous" or so I am told) Many Asian cultures celebrated the lunar new year on Sunday with all sorts of different traditions. In one way or another, most begin their celebrations by cleaning out the old and bringing in the new. This means a thorough cleaning of the house, getting rid of anything you don't need, getting new hair cuts, new clothes, and lots of fresh food. Feasting around the hotpot is common for many groups, and some sort of sticky rice treat seems to be a staple as well. Some also have traditions surrounding the eating of long noodles for a long life.

2006 is supposed to be the year of the metal dog. According to Chinese astrology (if you buy all that) this could be a very good thing for international affairs. During the year of the metal dog, the world can expect:

"The year of the Yang Dog teaches the lessons of watchfulness, defense of the weak and fair play. International justice will be the order of the year. Causes, protests and the righting of wrongs defines Dog years. Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge...."

I can't say that I really go in for astrology, but it's a comforting prediction. No matter what you think of it all, the idea of starting new, fresh, and clean is enticing. Perhaps I will actually manage to finish unpacking all those boxes...

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