What’s ahead in the Year of the Rabbit? Serenity
Imagine sitting on a park bench next to a tiger. Thoughts will race through your head: Is she aggressive? Is it protective? Is it too loud, or too loud? And, of course: Is he hungry?
Now imagine sitting on that bench with a little white rabbit: calm, quiet, gentle, accommodating.
The Tiger was 2022. The Rabbit is 2023. Now breathe.
On January 22, the Chinese zodiac moves into the Year of the Yin Water Rabbit, a far cry from the unpredictable tiger. Because the Chinese zodiac operates on a wheel within a wheel, each of the five elements rotates with the 12 animal signs, so each element-animal combination appears every 60 years.
“The Water Rabbit offers a chance for diplomacy and negotiation skills, a year of hope,” says Nan Hall Linke, a Houston therapist/landscaper/astrologer who likes to look at the connection between Western and Eastern astrology.
The arrival of the Lunar New Year, also called the Spring Festival (or, in Vietnam, Tet) was always a key religious and social event in local Asian communities, but it was hardly a civic event.
“It’s a big, big family holiday, like Christmas and Thanksgiving,” says Kevin Shu of the Houston Cultural Center of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.
Generally, workers from all over China and other Asian countries make a trip to their rural homes. “Everyone comes home to see family, even if they haven’t for two or three years,” Shu says. His mother is in Taiwan and he is planning to return to see her.
Glenda Joe, executive director of Houston’s Lunar New Year, remembers what the city’s celebrations were like around 1980. “Asian groups were full of soba,” she says, celebrating only in restaurants, businesses and other places without advertised.
Joe pledged to create the first pan-Asian cultural festival in the US
Now in its 14th year, Houston’s Lunar New Year event, Jan. 28-29, is at the Viet Hoa Center at West Sam Houston Parkway and Beechnut. A million fireworks! The lion dances! It’s free!
And now, Joe’s Group isn’t the only one offering all-inclusive holiday celebrations. On Jan. 28, the Houston Asia Society will celebrate from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with family activities, several ticketed performances, arts and crafts, and refreshments, says Stephanie Todd Wong, director of communications and engagement. of the audience.
The tale of the rabbit dates back to the mythical time of the Jade Emperor. The animals had to cross a river to reach the Emperor’s palace, but the rabbit hated getting his feet wet and jumped from rock to rock across the river. Then he took an unlucky nap and woke up to find himself only fourth in line for the Emperor’s blessing, and thus became the fourth house of the zodiac.
Linke believes we can get a sense of what kind of energy to expect from the last two years of the Water Rabbit, 1963 and 1903. She sees 1963 as elegant and forward-thinking. Flash back to Jacqueline Kennedy in the White House, the March on Washington, new ZIP codes, the Space Race… and the JFK assassination. No year is really good or bad. In 1903, Teddy Roosevelt was president, the Wright Brothers flew, and crayons were invented.
“Clothes will be more beautiful this year,” says Linke. About time!
How to prepare for the Lunar New Year
Even if you don’t have Asian heritage, you can get into the bunny hop. Here are some tips from experts in feng shui, the art of attuning your space to the prevailing energy, to show you how. (Spoiler alert: It’s all about intent and decay.)
Belinda Mendoza, Design for Energy, Austin:
Mendoza began preparations in November. She urges families to adjust to the new year’s changing energy.
Before the 22nd, do all your house cleaning. Then don’t do anything, not even wipe or shampoo, on New Year’s Day, or you’ll wash your finances.
On the 22nd, eat noodles (“money bags,” she calls them) and uncut noodles for long life—and no tofu. It’s also a great day to hand out red envelopes.
She places firecrackers (unlit) at the door to ward off evil. She also holds a Zoom festival for $20 for her clients.
“Set a goal for the year,” says Mendoza.
Sara Geralds, Maybe It’s Feng Shui, Austin:
Geralds cleans and pre-cleans. She recommends placing a lucky bowl with nine oranges, symbolizing gold coins. And it might be a good time to buy a new welcome mat.
If you can, give up nine objects on each of the nine days.
Open a window.
If you were born in the Year of the Rooster, attach a dog charm to your key chain.
“Bring purpose into the way you live,” says Geralds.
Peg Donahue, Feng Shui Links, New Hampshire:
Clean up your mess.
Make changes to your home organization on February 4, the traditional day for such work.
Always carry a nice vase of cut flowers.
If you want to go deep into aligning your living space according to the main guidelines – a principle of feng shui – a professional can prevent you from making a feng shui apology.
“Be kinder and more dignified. It would be really welcome,” says Donahue.