This February 16 marked the beginning of the celebration of the Chinese New Year – Year of the Dog. For the several billion Asians living throughout the world, we know this year not to be 2018 but 4716, as the traditional Chinese calendar follows a lunisolar cycle. The lunisolar calendar combines the lunar (moon) phases and the solar cycle, which is why the new year begins on different Gregorian calendar dates.
Before celebrants begin festivities, homes are thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned to symbolically remove the “old” and welcome the “new.” Then, decorations are hung – and if you have seen any Chinese New Year celebration, you see the color red is prominent. This is because the Chinese believe that red is the color of good luck, good energy, good fortune, happiness and success.
Family dinners on the eve of the Chinese New Year is a very important part of the tradition; elders are honored and the family is held sacred, so starting the new year together is an idea held closely. At midnight fireworks are launched, and there are many Dragon Dances are part of the ceremony; the dragon is a key symbol of wealth, power and wisdom.
This new year is the year of the dog, which is the 11th animal in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac. The dog is, of course, man’s most loyal friend, who keenly understands our spirit, and loves us unconditionally.
At Cactus Botanics, we wish all of you a healthy and wealthy new year.