Monday, 23 January 2012

The Year of the Dragon

Happy Chinese New Year!
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Today is the first day of the 4709th year of the Chinese calendar, since the Yellow King (legend has it he was the first king of China) back in 2697BC.

Following the Chinese stem and branch system of keeping track of years, days and months, this year is the year of the Dragon (more specifically, the Black Dragon or the Water Dragon).
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In Chinese legend, dragons come from the sky, are mystical, related to heaven and a very auspicious animal.  The most powerful dragon is the five clawed dragon, which only appears on the yellow imperial robe.  Technically, the astrological year of the Dragon doesn't start until 4th February, despite New Year being today.  This is because the Chinese zodiac year begins on the first day of Spring in China, which is in twelve days time.  Luckily the New Year celebrations last for fifteen days, until the 6th February!

There will be celebrations across the world, with dancing, rituals to encourage good fortune, processions and parties.  I'm attending a Chinese New Year celebration at the University of Exeter on the 4th Feb (down in Devon visiting the folks, and my sister is works in PR at the Guild of Students, so is heavily involved with the organising).  I'm really looking forward to it (more info here).
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Traditionally, it is important to cleanse your house and your life of all negativity during or before the New Year celebration, so that you are ready to move forward with your life.  Reconciliations, spring-cleaning, making amends, all are an important part of the run-up to New Year.  It's perhaps something  that we should all make a bit more of.  So many of us are carrying baggage from our past.  Choose yourself a deadline, be it a landmark birthday or a New Year and take the time to make your peace, clear your clutter and free yourself of all that baggage so that you are ready to move into the New Year with positive energy.

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