finally! after waiting through the festivals of thanksgiving, christmas, new year, hannuka, and everything else people find to celebrate in the winter seaason, this duck's day is dawning. The SPRING FESTIVAL bringing to us the LUNAR NEW YEAR (4073) ARRIVES!!!
this is the first year I have ever raised chickens, and the two darlings that came to me as 3 month olds are now house chickens, as Ling, the Pekin duck, has been given the grand status of House Duck. Now Trixie and Alice join him and the days here are filled with great and grand adventures.
Happy days are here. I sent the messages up to the kitchen gods and begin to add to my collection of scripts and calligraphy, luck symbols and now, Rooster replaces Monkey. An auspicious time for all.
best wishes on the coming new year!
China to greet first Rooster Year of new century
The people throughout China, who often consider their country to be shaped like a rooster, are greeting the most lucky and auspicious animal sign this Spring Festival, the "Year of the Rooster."
The word for "rooster" has the same pronunciation as "luck" in Chinese language and is the 10th in a 12-year rotation on the Chinese lunar calendar that begins with rat and ends with pig.
In honor of the incoming new lunar year, the Beijing-based People's Bank of China has issued commemorative coins engraved with new-born chicks. Shanghai saw a two-story-high cock built from 10,000 soda cans. A zoo in southern Shenzhen even held a show displaying more than 1,000 rare pheasants.
At the threshold of the first fifth year in the new century, modernization has changed a host of traditional Chinese Spring Festival customs.
People will rely mainly on phone calls and mobile phone text messages to send their best new year wishes and 16 percent of them will prefer outdoor traveling to spend the coming festival, according to data collected by the Social Survey Institute of China in 12 large cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
During the last Spring Festival, Beijing mobile phone users alone sent more than 100 million text messages, contributing at least 10 million yuan (about 1.2 million US dollars) of profits to China Mobile and China Unicom, the country's two largest mobile carriers.
In 2004, approximately 28,000 Beijing tourists went overseas for celebrations of traditional spring festival, or Chinese lunar new year, according to local travel agencies.
The survey, however, disclosed that 60 percent of the interviewees regret the decline in traditional celebrations. Most of them deem it necessary to continue the practice of hosting a family dinner on the lunar New Year's Eve.
Thus, temple fairs, markets and even modern shopping malls are filled with traditional paper-cut designs, popular New Year pictures, red lanterns and lucky Chinese knots. Fluffy rooster toys are also clad in Chinese-style costumes.
Newspapers, not to miss out on the story opportunities provided by a Rooster Year, have devoted page after page to reminding readerships that the rooster is not only a faithful herald announcing the dawn of a day but also believed a talisman warding off evil spirits in ancient times.
Rooster, also an incarnate of phoenix, has widely been taken as the leader of birds. Phoenix, a mythological poultry, can fly in heaven and bring people fortunes.
When the 20th century's first Rooster Year came in 1909, however, entertainment and celebrations were forbidden across China to mourn the passing of Emperor Quangxi in the imperial Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the last feudal dynasty in the country.
The ensuing Years of Rooster have witnessed flames of war, political turmoil and reforms in the past century.
After the return of Hong Kong and Macao in 1997 and 1999, China had seen the first non-stop, round-trip flights across the Taiwan Strait just before this Spring Festival. The reunification of the motherland and national rejuvenation are again the most vital topics in welcoming the new year.
It was believed a good omen foretelling harmony and smoothness of the whole year. People have started to prepare themselves for a joyful, affluent and busy Year of Rooster.
People's Daily Online --- http://english.people.com.cn/