Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Heavenly temple, originally uploaded by ZERO CEM.

Yes, I’m well aware that we’re already a month into 2011, but that not the new year I’m talking about, I’m talking about the year of the rabbit, according to the Chinese calendar that just stated today (February 3rd 2011).

I’ve never really pay attention of when the Chinese New Year was. I’ve usually only found out right after it had passed (if ever) and... well, dismissed it just as easily since it was already too late to do anything about it, therefore I never noticed it’s not always on the same date.

According to wikipedia, the Chinese New Year may fall any day between January 21st and February 20th since it’s lunisolar based and it depends on both the winter solstice and the moon cycles; with the New Year usually being on the second new moon after the winter solstice (although it could be the third new moon on rare occasions).

Also notable is the fact that the celebration itself, which is referred to as the Spring Festival; lasts for 15 days (16 if you count New Years Eve) and has many different traditions for each day, ending with the Lantern Festival on the first full moon of the year. I wish I’ll be able to go there one of these days, on the meanwhile... I have to settle with the things I have nearby.

For instance, today’s image is courtesy of the China pavilion on Disney’s Epcot center in Orlando. It’s a replica of the Temple of Heaven, a Taoist temple in Beijing which represents the connection of Heaven and Earth. It’s not much, but it brings a little taste of the Chinese culture for those of us that cannot make it all the way there (just yet).

Here are some of the references I read in case you'd like to keep learning:
Wikipedia - Chinese New Year - Festivals
Wikipedia - Lantern Festival
Wikipedia - Temple of Heaven

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