Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!

Image: 2008 Happy New Year Oshogatsu Japan Exclusive Barbie Doll

President Barack Obama has made some good suggestions over the course of his presidency to promote human relations, but wishing all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders a Happy Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year) might not work in all cases; for instance, the Japanese celebrate New Years on January 1, 2 and 3 on the Gregorian calendar, marking shōgatsu the most important and elaborate holiday of the year (Chinese New Year is actually at a later date; in 2011, it will fall on February 3). However, many Japanese people follow, at least culturally if not in a spiritual or religious sense, the tradition of the Chinese zodiac; 2011 is the Year of the Hare (or Rabbit; specifically, the Metal Rabbit). What does that mean? I don't know, but for those who are interested, this website will explain all of the details of the origin of this archaic divination system. Happy New Year, everyone!