Happy New Year to everyone for the year 2018. It is the year of the Earth Dog. It is quite interesting because as much as I love lion dancing, Chinese culture and partake in the celebration of Chinese New Year, I was stumped when a member of the audience approached me after one of our performances this year and asked me what does that mean for her with this year being the year of the dog. I wasn’t sure. The only way I could answer was that it depends on what school of feng shui or divination that you follow. I wasn’t sure if that was a good answer itself so I had to look it up.
So what does it mean for us to celebrate the lunar new year.
For me, it was always a time to usher in the old and bring in the new year with new changes, new hopes, new aspirations, or to reflect on the good things we have done in the previous year and to renew our ambitions to continue the good stuff.
It was also a chance for the whole family to get together on the eve of the new year to have a family meal to round out the old year followed by a family meal on new years to bring in the new. For me, it’s another reason for the family to get together and to enjoy each other’s company.
It’s also a chance to “clean out” the house physically to begin the new year on a good clean front as well as to leave all the bad luck and omens of the previous year behind.
As for the zodiac animals, my brief research suggests that it is a way for feng shui or divination masters to describe the certain characteristics that are associated with being born in the year of the dog. For everyone else, how the year pans out depends on your own zodiac birth animal and the school of thought of divination.
More practically, Chinese New Year is lion dancing time. It’s a chance for me to hit up the temples on New Year’s Eve to check out the other schools performances and to catch up with my group of friends whom gather “religiously” to the temple year in and year out to watch the lion dancers, firecrackers and fireworks go off before our annual late night snack. As for the rest of the New Years period, it’s a time to lion dance and enjoy the various festivals and performances by the various cultures and groups that celebrate the lunar new year.
I’ll put up photos of the various performers I got to see in the upcoming posts.