The Chinese New Year, a celebration of the lunar new year, started yesterday. It is the major holiday in China, likened to a combination of Christmas, New Year’s, and the 4th of July all rolled into one. Since Samantha is in a Mandarin Immersion program, it’s something we’re aware of. It’s a big week long celebration at the school with cultural activities and presentations by the classes. The kids wear Chinese New Year outfits.
This year is the Year of the Snake. Generally not a great year, snakes are considered kind of bad luck. They’re sneaky, crafty, and not well looked upon. The last Year of the Snake was 2001, memorable mostly for 9/11. Not good. This year is a black snake, or a water snake, which is supposed to be a little milder than the other elements like earth, wood, and metal, but still, it’s a snake.
During the Year of the Dragon, which just ended, there is a baby boom in China and among Chinese families. We certainly saw one at Samantha’s school. The Year of the Snake is the opposite, people try to avoid having children.
I’ve been doing some reading about it and one of the traditions is to clean your house really well, like a spring cleaning, prior to the start of the new year. It’s to get rid of all the evil spirits still lingering around from last year and make room for good luck. I’ve had a not good year. There was generally being sick all the time, and meningitis, and now some auto-immune thing. I am ready to get rid of whatever evil spirits there are lingering around. Also, if you believe in astrology, the Year of the Snake does not bode well for a Tiger such as myself.
Since I read about the cleaning tradition on Friday night, and when Saturday morning came I was feeling really good physically, I decided to get rid of the evil spirits. I cleaned the house as usual, plus washed the curtains, cleaned the windows and window sills, washed walls, did laundry, washed all the area rugs, and cleaned the light fixtures. It was an all day event. The girls got involved for a good hour. They liked the idea of getting rid of evil spirits.
I ended the day with a sweeping of the front and back steps. It felt symbolic to sweep all the dirt, leaves, and dead bugs away from the house. Maybe it will do some good, it definitely can’t hurt.
Happy Lunar New Year.