Hey Tiger (老虎), have a Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (新年快乐) Valentines Day

Saturday, February 06, 2010

This week, as chūnyùn (春运), the largest annual migration on earth (likely 210 million passengers in 40 days), gets underway, it’s time for the Capers with Carroll Annual Chinese New Years Post. Chinese custom says that the third visit makes one a friend, so this third installment of Spring Festival greetings raises our blog-tradition to a new level.

I hope all of my friends in China (and some in Korea and parts of Southeast Asia) enjoy wonderful holidays with their families, and prosperous and healthy new years.

Everything points to an auspicious year for love. For the first time since 1934 (Year of the Dog) and 1953 (Year of the Snake), the lunar calendar teams up with the Gregorian calendar to usher in the Year of the Tiger on the same day as the Western world’s Valentine’s Day. (China celebrates its own version of Valentines Day, qīxījié [七夕节], on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month: August 16th for 2010.) Let’s face it, as Valentine images, dogs and snakes can’t compete with tigers. Go get ‘em tigers!

A lot has changed in a year. Last year, the chūnyùn migration bogged down in the kind of freak snow storm that had the Chinese government working hard to avoid any thoughts that it might have lost what the ancient Chinese referred to as the “Mandate of Heaven.” As I write this, it’s the Atlantic coast of the United States that is bogged down in a storm that mandate-damaged President Obama himself referred to as “Snowmageddon.” We are different cultures, to say the least.

Again this year, my Xīn Nián Kuài Lè posts for 2008 and 2009 begin drawing heavy traffic about six weeks ago. I suspect people are googling the Romanized pinyin spelling and hoping to find the Chinese characters. If so, in the spirit of the season, we here at Capers are pleased to provide this service. To each and every one: a full measure of New Year’s happiness.

Posted by Brian at 10:32 PM  


Post a Comment