Monday 23 January 2012

Chinese New year - Kong Xi Fa Cai

Chinese New year - Kong Xi Fa Cai

The year of the Dragon has officially started today. Kong Xi Fa Cai, that you may be lucky in the year of the Dragon.

Chinese New Year Party in Maenam

Koh Samui has many Chinese descendants and especially Maenam and Nathon celebrate the Chinese New Year and in Hua Thanon you can find many Hainan style houses.
Tonight there should be a big celebration in Maenam and Nathon celebrates 29th January.

Before I moved to Thailand, over 12 years ago, I was lucky enough to one day bump into the New years procession in the Yaoworat area of Bangkok and witness the celebrations. It was quite impressive. If you have the opportunity, don't miss out on it! If you're on Samui, try to visit Maneam today or Nathon come the 29th January. If you're in Bangkok today, move down to Yaowarat and enjoy the festivities.

Party time on Maenam beach

The lunisolar Chinese calendar determines the date of Chinese New Year. The calendar is also used in countries that have adopted or have been influenced by Han culture, notably the Koreans, Japanese and Vietnamese, and may have a common ancestry with the similar New Year festivals outside East Asia, such as Iran, and historically, the Bulgars lands.

In the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, a date between January 21 and February 20. In the Chinese calendar, winter solstice must occur in the 11th month, which means that Chinese New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice (rarely the third if an intercalary month intervenes). In traditional Chinese Culture, lichun is a solar term marking the start of spring, which occurs about February 4.

The names of the earthly branches have no English counterparts and are not the Chinese translations of the animals. Alongside the 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac there is a 10-year cycle of heavenly stems. Each of the ten heavenly stems is associated with one of the five elements of Chinese astrology, namely: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. The elements are rotated every two years while a yin and yang association alternates every year. The elements are thus distinguished: Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, etc. These produce a combined cycle that repeats every 60 years. For example, the year of the Yang Fire Rat occurred in 1936 and in 1996, 60 years apart.

Many confuse their Chinese birth-year with their Gregorian birth-year. As the Chinese New Year starts in late January to mid-February, the Chinese year dates from January 1 until that day in the new Gregorian year remain unchanged from the previous Gregorian year. For example, the 1989 year of the snake began on February 6, 1989. The year 1990 is considered by some people to be the year of the horse. However, the 1989 year of the snake officially ended on January 26, 1990. This means that anyone born from January 1 to January 25, 1990 was actually born in the year of the snake rather than the year of the horse. Many online Chinese Sign calculators do not account for the non-alignment of the two calendars, using Gregorian-calendar years rather than official Chinese New Year dates.


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