A warm welcome to the Year of the Horse! Here's hoping you get many lai see from older relatives, and get to eat lots of delicious sweets and round foods to ring in luck and prosperity over the coming year. This year's Spring Festival will be running until 14 February, another big holiday for some of you, and conveniently, both holidays heavily feature red decor!
For Spring Festival, of course, all the firecrackers, loud noises, and general commotion are supposed to scare away demons, while that red keeps them at bay and brings luck and prosperity. (Some Chinese celebrants of Lunar New Year -- a holiday that's celebrated in many Asian nations, not just China -- will be donning lucky red underwear, especially if they were born in the Year of the Horse.)
You might not be among those jubilantly celebrating (maybe your New Year was a month ago, or even earlier!), but it's hard to avoid getting into the spirit of the Lunar New Year, especially if you're lucky enough to live in a community with a large Asian population. San Francisco residents, for example, can hit up the world-famous Chinese Parade at 5:20 PM on 15 February, celebrating the end of the Spring Festival with lion dancers and other performers in addition to community notables.
While you're avoiding taking the trash out today (it's bad luck to throw things away, so you have an excuse to put it off 'til tomorrow!), it's also a good time to think about the kinds of changes you might want to make in the coming year. For example, maybe it's time to finally invest in replacing worn-out roofing, or calling for some Philadelphia remodeling to make more room in the house for a growing family. Perhaps you're ready to take the plunge into ripping out that gross old bathroom or 1950s kitchen that's just not meeting your needs. Need ideas for resolutions? We made a list of recommendations for home improvement resolutions.
Across Asia, families are meeting up to spend time with friends and loved ones during this most auspicious time of the year, and members of Asian diaspora around the world are doing likewise. While they're eating traditional foods, exchanging gifts, cooking together, and expressing love, they're also thinking about their plans for the Year of the Horse. With each new year comes new opportunities, and this one is no different. It could present a whole new array of good luck, interesting events, and wonderful happenings.
Horses have a long tradition in Chinese history and mythology, long-prized for their fleet feet, beauty, and loyalty. If you're lucky enough to be a zodiacal horse, this could be your year!
Katie Marks writes for Networx.com.