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"Baby Bunny" by Jennifer C., used with permission under CC BY 2.0. Source.

Gung Hei Fat Choy! Are You A Rabbit?

It’s Chinese New Year!  (Or to be more accurate, it was still the start of the New Year 1.5 hours ago!  But then again, this celebration lasts for 15 days, so it looks like I’m just in time!)

This is the year of the Metal Rabbit.  No, that doesn’t mean they like to listen to Slayer, wear band tee shirts, and swing their long hair in unison with each other.  In fact, the metal aspect refers to the five elements:  Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water.  The Metal gives the Rabbit strength, resilience and determination.  The Rabbit itself is a well-loved animal in the horoscope, because it symbolizes speed, strength, and kindness of heart, among other things.

The Rabbit is the fourth year in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.  According to those who follow Chinese horoscopes, this year should prove to be more calm and a bit of a respite, compared to last year’s Tiger fiery fiestyness and upheavals!  I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that!

I didn’t get to see the traditional lion dances in Chinatown earlier today, but I was able to check it out 2 years ago.  That was mainly due to the fact that I worked at Kamwo at that time, where I managed, and helped process, incoming Chinese herbal formula orders, as well as work the floor (acupuncture/moxa/cupping/plasters/other supplies, sometimes bulk herbs.)

Kamwo is the largest Chinese herbal pharmacy in the East Coast, and I learned a lot just by being there.  They always had a rice cooker steaming up in the basement, and sometimes they made soups with herbs.  Being part Chinese, amongst my all-American “mezcla”-ness, I was able to appreciate all of this (“mezcla” means “mixed” or “blend” in Spanish, and some of my patients in the Bronx have given me that affectionate term, after learning of my mixed ethnic background.)  I learned a few Cantonese and Mandarin words, as well as how to write some characters, though mostly in relation to orders!

This is similar to the rice cooker my work had in the basement. Mine is similar too, but much smaller.

When Chinese New Year came around that year, we all had the holiday off.  But before then, festivities were already underway.

I was processing orders with my coworkers, when I started hearing a lot of cymbals banging and clanging.  Soon, it was followed by a big yellow dragon, jerking and diving down the street (with dancers animating it from underneath, of course!)

My coworkers and I shared many mooncakes that day.  Mooncakes are Chinese pastries with an egg yolk crust filled with lotus paste.  Yum!

But that was only a tidbit of the actual festivities, which often involves lots of lion dances, firecrackers, cymbals, and crowds of people in the streets.  My Chinese coworkers would relay their stories to me of the hotpots – putting a gigantic cooking pot on the lazy suzan in the center, and taking turns cooking in it.  It’s usually a big social feast, and this holiday’s the biggest one of the year on the Chinese calendar!

How do you know if you’re a Rabbit?  People born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2011 are all Rabbits.

Some famous Rabbits are:  Drew Barrymore, Billie Holiday, Lars Ulrich (ok, so I suppose some Rabbits do swing their long hair, or, what used to be long hair), Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, 50 Cent, and Coolio.

How can you honor the Chinese New Year?

  1. Wear Red – The color of joy and good luck in Chinese Culture.
  2. Give a Gift – The Chinese like to offer fruits (oranges, dried fruits), nuts and cakes to relatives and friends.  Others give little red envelopes filled with money.
  3. Clean the House – For the symbolic new year fresh start.
  4. Decorate the House – Especially with plants such as plum blossoms, to ring in fresh beginnings.
  5. See a Dragon Dance – This is one thing that is a must-see at least once in your life!

Enjoy the next 14 days (and beyond!)

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011 by Alcantara Acupuncture & Healing Arts. All rights reserved. You may quote, copy, translate and link to this article, in its entirety, on free, non-donation based websites only, as long as you include the author name and a working link back to this website. All other uses are strictly prohibited.

146 Comments

  1. amkuska
    February 4, 2011

    I’m a tiger, so I guess my year was last year. ^^ I’ve got to write a story about a metal rabbit, it just sounds so awesome!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Glad to have you as my first post comment! I’m not a rabbit either, but hopefully it’ll be a good year all around.

      Reply
  2. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife
    February 4, 2011

    I’m not into zodiacs or horoscopes, but am into animals, and that is one cute bunny 🙂

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Yes, that is one cute bunny! I was able to view your blog, and saw your love of animals. It also seems you’re getting more snow than in my neck of the woods!

      Reply
  3. jaredblakedicroce
    February 4, 2011

    I like this post a lot, very informative and fun.
    Going to go throw on a red tank-top, vacuum the house, and order in some chinese 🙂
    thanks
    ~J

    Reply
  4. spidergirlxD
    February 4, 2011

    Yaaaayyyy Lars Ulrich!!! Metallica ftw!!!
    Sorry, that wasn’t very helpful or constructive, but I needed to get it out of my system.
    Great post, I’m glad you got Freshly Pressed xD

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Yes, it looks like Lars may be enjoying himself this year. Glad you got it out of your system! 🙂

      Reply
  5. engrmuh
    February 4, 2011

    How do you know if you’re a Rabbit? People born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2011 are all Rabbits.

    with which aspect ?

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      What are you referring to when you mention “aspect”? If you’re looking into the characteristics of the Rabbit, and what that represents for the given year, that would be in the second paragraph. Thanks!

      Reply
    • jaredblakedicroce
      February 5, 2011

      I think you grow the whiskers…

      Reply
  6. leahsinger
    February 4, 2011

    Thank you for your informative post. I’m glad you mentioned that the Year of the Rabbit should be a calmer one. I found last year (for me) one of the hardest years I’ve ever had with quite a bit of turmoil. It makes complete sense now that you said it was the Year of the Tiger, which is characteristic of that Zodiac sign. I’m looking forward to my calm Year of the Rabbit.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      It seems a lot of folks found last year to be quite intense. I hope this one will prove to be smoother for you! I’m glad you liked the post.

      Reply
  7. enjoibeing
    February 4, 2011

    i am a rabbit. great post

    http://enjoibeing.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  8. Mikalee Byerman
    February 4, 2011

    “According to those who follow Chinese horoscopes, this year should prove to be more calm and a bit of a respite, compared to last year’s Tiger fiery fiestyness and upheavals!”

    Amen to that!

    Here’s wishing everyone a calm New Year filled with muc-needed respite.

    🙂

    Reply
  9. cattieee
    February 4, 2011

    Go chinese new year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  10. YouGetWellSoon
    February 4, 2011

    Cute post! My husband’s a wood rabbit and the 2 people he’s supposed to not get along with at all – me and my sister. Well, there’s definitely some truth to that.
    I usually make my way to Chinatown to celebrate the new year – but sick kids don’t go out to huge festivals to infect the celebrating masses. (Social responsibility trumps celebration for me.) Since I didn’t make it, it was nice to hear about the festivities. I miss the crowds and dragon dance for sure.
    And as a sidebar – I miss my acupuncture sessions too. It works like nothing else. And feels so great. I’ll have to check out your other posts on the topic.

    Thanks for the post!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      That’s a funny family rabbit story. I’m sure the masses appreciate your consideration of keeping their colds at bay! Although, I do understand your fervor, considering your background in molecular biology.

      Even though you missed the dragon dance, Calgary’s Chinatown may still have celebrations for almost 2 more weeks (you may still get to enjoy it.)

      Yes, I agree on acupuncture making you feel great. Don’t need to twist my arm on that one!

      Reply
  11. hunter71
    February 4, 2011

    THE LUCK OF THE RABBIT! YA!
    http://www.hcrproducts.com

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      I said it on your impressive blog, and I’ll say it again – you have got to be one of the coolest kids ever!

      Reply
  12. Kelsey W.
    February 4, 2011

    That sounds awesome, and those cakes look yummy 🙂
    I was born in 1988, but on Feb the 5th, which was apparently before the Chinese new year that year, or so i was told. Would I still be considered a Rabbit, or Dragon?

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Oh, they are yummy.

      Actually, the Rabbit phase ended 2/17/88, so it looks like you’re still a Rabbit.

      Reply
  13. Gung Hei Fat Choy! Are You A Rabbit? (via Alcantara Acupuncture) « sandraarmstrongphotography
    February 4, 2011

    […] 4 Feb It's Chinese New Year!  (Or to be more accurate, it was still the start of the New Year 1.5 hours ago!  But then again, this celebration lasts for 15 days, so it looks like I'm just in time!) This is the year of the Metal Rabbit.  No, that doesn't mean they like to listen to Slayer, wear band tee shirts, and swing their long hair in u … Read More […]

    Reply
  14. kazumasoju
    February 4, 2011

    I’m So excited for the new year this year around, the celebrations are sure to be amazing as usual <3

    Reply
  15. midnitechef
    February 4, 2011

    I read that you should clean your house before the New Year and obstain from cleaning for the 15 days of celebration so you don’t sweep out the luck. My sister (in-law) is living in China and used to live in NYC. What do you prepare for family or friends if you are hosting a New Year’s dinner?

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Your house cleaning observation sounds like it would make sense, considering the building and draining, yin and yang of Chinese thought.

      As for a typical Chinese New Year dinner, prepare to do a lot of cooking! Expect many dishes (at least a dozen.) And each piece of food symbolizes something – from the fish or chicken being served whole to show abundance, to how many pieces of pork to put on a plate (numbers have a lot of different meanings in Chinese culture, some more lucky than others.)

      I’ve never met someone who has such passion for reading cookbooks. If I could only…

      Reply
  16. All County Insurance - Brea, California
    February 4, 2011

    Those mooncakes look delicious! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    Reply
  17. FinallyFast
    February 4, 2011

    I’ve never see a Dragon Dance, I wish that I had had a chance yesterday to go… Cool post.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      I’m sure they have a Dragon Dance posted on YouTube somewhere. But Philly’s Chinatown should have some festivities for a few days more…

      Reply
  18. My Camera, My Friend
    February 4, 2011

    I’ve learned I was born in the year of the snake. I don’t particularly care for snakes in general, so at times I wish I’d been born in another year. My sister is a rabbit, but I don’t see her matching the description too well. All that aside, Gung Hei Fat Choy to you and enjoy the moon cakes!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      I don’t think we need to be enamored with the animals our birthdate may fall on, but it’s entertaining to ponder what characteristics we may posses of them (according to the Chinese zodiac.) Snakes are supposedly intuitive, aware, and graceful. Gung Hei Fat Choy to you too!

      Reply
  19. nancykhicks
    February 4, 2011

    Beautiful blog. The mooncakes look delicious!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Thanks for visiting! Mooncakes can have various designs on the top, which makes them even more appealing at times.

      Reply
  20. makingup3000
    February 4, 2011

    We need a calm year!! I will honor it by cleaning my house for sure. I will try to get to the other 4. Great blog.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Sounds like cleaning house is a popular choice among folks commenting. You will feel so much better after you can see your floor again!

      Reply
  21. sixthirtythree
    February 4, 2011

    Congrats on being fresh pressed.
    I tweeted your post.
    How do the Chinese determine that the rabbit is metal?

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Much appreciated on the congrats and tweet!

      To figure out if one’s a rabbit, one goes by the year the person’s born. But to be more specific, depending on the actual birthdate, you can figure out which element of the rabbit you are. For instance, if you were born 2/16/88, you would be a Fire Rabbit; but if you were born on 1/26/52, you’d be a Metal Rabbit. There are a few things you can Google on this for more info.

      As I mentioned on your most recent post, you have got some great crafts featured (I enjoy crafts!)

      Reply
  22. acleansurface
    February 4, 2011

    Are you SURE the rabbits don’t listen to Slayer and have long hair? Because that would be very funny.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Perhaps in Slayer-ville, USA, their bunnies do. Yes, that would be pretty hilarious. And, perhaps, slightly disturbing.

      Reply
  23. NovaBlast
    February 4, 2011

    HI liked your post I am a wood tiger

    Reply
  24. Gung Hei Fat Choy! Are You A Rabbit? (via Alcantara Acupuncture) « Amerahanna's Blog
    February 4, 2011

    […] Much love, Amera Hanna Fire rabbit =) It's Chinese New Year!  (Or to be more accurate, it was still the start of the New Year 1.5 hours ago!  But then again, this celebration lasts for 15 days, so it looks like I'm just in time!) This is the year of the Metal Rabbit.  No, that doesn't mean they like to listen to Slayer, wear band tee shirts, and swing their long hair in u … Read More […]

    Reply
  25. creativeconfessions
    February 4, 2011

    Hey, love your post! I come from a country where Chinese New Year is widely celebrated… I’ve heard the clanging of gongs in every outdoor mall I’ve been to as they start the Lion Dance! I’m a Fire Rat. Thanks for the post. =)

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Thanks for saying so! That must be something, being able to hear those gongs so often…

      Reply
  26. livingdelilah
    February 4, 2011

    Wow there are a lot of fellow tigers here!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Yes, there are! And, I rather enjoy your posts of artistic endeavors, including those in the the “Hip To Be A Square” post.

      Reply
  27. TheEverydayMuser
    February 5, 2011

    A very happy Chinese New Year to you!
    I like the idea of this year being calm too. But the Egyptian revolution has stirred things up, lately. Hopefully it will pipe down too.
    Mooncakes, huh? I’ve heard of them quite a number of times from one of my friends who’s a foreign exchange student. Maybe I’ll try them out after all!
    I’ve already given gifts to a lot of people. We (my family and I) make it a point to honor all the cultures of the world, and whenever it’s something really special, we put aside religion and take part in the festivities. In fact, I could say our whole community is like that.
    Sadly enough, I’m not a Rabbit. But you’ve got me intrigued. I’m going to check out what I am!
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed, and once more, a very happy new year!
    Ashley, aka TheEverydayMuser
    http://www.theeverydaymuser.wordpress.com

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      And happy Chinese New Year to you! I appreciate your congrats. Yes, there has been some troubling events recently, and I certainly hope peace will prevail soon.

      Sounds like you and your family are being constantly enriched by celebrating what you do. And, that you will soon be finding out where your birthday lies in the Chinese zodiac. Enjoy!

      Reply
  28. thesecretgirlforever
    February 5, 2011

    happy chinese new year to you!! i dont know what i am. i was born in 1997. anyways… congrats on being freshly pressed!!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      That would make you a Snake. If you do a search, you’ll find out all about it! Have a great Chinese New Year, and thanks for your wishes.

      Reply
      • tianlinzhang
        February 6, 2011

        Wha? Isn’t 1997 the year of the Ox? I was born in that year and I should know 1997 (From February 7th onwards anyway) is the year of the Fire Ox.

        Reply
        • Alcantara Acupuncture
          February 7, 2011

          You’re absolutely right, tianlinzhang. I actually read the year as “1977” instead of “1997”, at first. Thanks for the catch!

          Reply
  29. Lauren
    February 5, 2011

    Thank you, Margarita! I really enjoyed reading your post. I find the Chinese culture (as well as many others) fascinating! And those mooncakes look tasty!

    Happy Chinese New Year to you as well!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      You’re welcome, and Happy Chinese New Year to you too! Yes, I can tell by that sushi in your avatar, as well as the scrumptious recipes you’ve got listed in your blog, that you thoroughly enjoy all types of cuisine. And, it’s worth being said once more – yes, those mooncakes look, and the ones I’ve had are, tasty. Looks like that’s next on your list!

      Reply
  30. leadinglight
    February 5, 2011

    I think this year is far more apt to be the Year of the Tiger given the floods in Australia, protests in Cairo and such…. I am yet to see the peace. Let’s hope it begins soon. I’m hoping rabbit doesn’t mean this is the year to run in terror of predators. For the year of the tiger, the past year was not really that bad.

    But those mooncakes look delicious. I’ve only had the ones with red bean paste though.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Actually, rabbits in the zodiac seem soft, but they are supposedly strong and willful. So, let’s hope we see some peace prevailing, soon.

      Reply
  31. michael hill
    February 5, 2011

    Gung hei fat choy and xie xie …

    I am a metal rabbit (astrologically speaking!) so I am looking forward to this year.

    Just found your blog, will have a look around. I also am a reiki practitioner and trained in shiatsu. It’s always fun explaining it to people unfamiliar with eastern thought.

    Good fortune for the new year!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      And a Happy Chinese New Year, and Thank You, as well! Ah, so you must be excited that this is your year.

      Yes, isn’t it always interesting explaining Eastern traditions to folks not familiar with it? What an opportunity to have them possibly dig it as much as we do!

      Good fortune to you too.

      Reply
  32. theheteroclite
    February 5, 2011

    Hail all wabbits! haha I’d add “See a Dragon Dance” in my 101 do list for the year of the metal rabbit! I shared rice cakes at work! 🙂 Happy Chinese New Year. 🙂

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      You shared rice cakes at work? You must be a popular coworker! Enjoy your Chinese New Year!

      Reply
  33. prem2pram
    February 5, 2011

    My husband and I went to our local Chinese restaurant yesterday and I made a special effort to wish the owners happy new year in Chinese, which they thanked me for.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      I’m sure they really appreciated that. Thanks for visiting! Continued success with your darling, necessary, and comprehensive premature baby clothes line.

      Reply
  34. san diego wisterila
    February 5, 2011

    Hello, I am a Chinese, I am so excited to see the pictures here. The moon cakes aren’t so popular in China,it’s so sad for us. I am really want the festival can make people happy again.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      I hope you’re able to enjoy the rest of the festivities of the Chinese New Year, while you can. Yes, it seems that our Chinatown, here in New York City, really likes the mooncakes. I remember seeing almost every store I went into at the time being filled with them! Or, maybe it was just me and my Chinese coworkers who wanted an excuse to eat them when doing paperwork? 🙂

      Reply
  35. nclassical
    February 5, 2011

    Happy CNY! I am a pig (born in 1995). Oink! I just decorated my house and visited my relatives; plus received a lot of red packets! I enjoy rice cakes(which filled my stomach)!
    Wish you all good fortune and a fruitful year!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Thank you! Many blessings and prosperity back at you.

      Lots of red packets and rice cakes? Looks like you’re having a great New Year already!

      Reply
  36. mewatk01
    February 5, 2011

    I was born the year of the horse!!!!What year were you born in???????Check out my blog!!!!

    Reply
  37. Bonbon
    February 5, 2011

    I AM A RABBIT 🙂 Hopefully this year will bring me EXTRA luck…. BUNNY BLESS!

    Reply
  38. sittingpugs
    February 5, 2011

    Cute bunny indeed! Congrats on being freshly pressed. I’m a monkey-bum, chicken-head. I was born in the very end of Monkey year on the lunar calendar and the very beginning of cock year on the solar calendar. I’m more like a Monkey (in both positive and negative attributes).

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      That is an interesting and humorous observation, of the monkey and chicken combination. Like a “monken”.

      Reply
  39. momentsinpeking
    February 5, 2011

    Actually if this is your year, i.e. if you are a rabbit, then it’s a year that you need to be extra careful with. It’s what the Chinese regard as “Ben Ming Nian”, the year of your own destiny and supposedly major turning-point events happen in such a year.
    Interesting to read how other people see the Chinese New Year. Nicely written. 🙂

    Reply
  40. perla
    February 5, 2011

    really love how you wrote this post, Sab! I’m year of the rabbit! woohoo! gonna read a little bit more of your blog now. hoope you can join pinay.com and add your blog and webpage links soon! Happy New Year! hughughug

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Hi Perla,

      Thanks for the surprise visit. I didn’t know you were a Rabbit! Happy New Year to you too! I will check out pinay.com to add my info.

      Reply
  41. Gung Hei Fat Choy! Are You A Rabbit? (via Alcantara Acupuncture) | SmilesInTheRain
    February 5, 2011

    […] It's Chinese New Year!  (Or to be more accurate, it was still the start of the New Year 1.5 hours ago!  But then again, this celebration lasts for 15 days, so it looks like I'm just in time!) This is the year of the Metal Rabbit.  No, that doesn't mean they like to listen to Slayer, wear band tee shirts, and swing their long hair in u … Read More […]

    Reply
  42. SpinnyLiberal
    February 5, 2011

    My sister and dad are rabbits! Great post. Looks so festive!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 5, 2011

      Glad you like. Maybe it’s all the Chinese red. And that bunny is very popular.

      Your blog’s pretty festive as well, with the animation, writing style, and font choices. It’s pretty funny, as well.

      Reply
  43. offroadcooking
    February 5, 2011

    This is neat! I really learned a lot from this post, and the photos are wonderful. I would really love to see such a Chinese New Year celebration like the one you described.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 6, 2011

      Thanks for the compliment! I’m not sure where you’re located; but, as I mentioned to another visitor, I’m sure you could find a celebration, or two, to enjoy on YouTube. And thanks for the seitan suggestion!

      Reply
  44. anne
    February 5, 2011

    I really like mooncakes… used to get them at Pike’s Market when we lived near Seattle… I don’t know where to find them where I live now…

    Reply
  45. sicklumpy
    February 5, 2011

    I’m a proud rabbit – wood to be specifically!!!! Since I live in Alaska, I’ve been missing the dragon/lion dance, fireworks, visiting friends & family, eating at the big table, receiving angpow (red packets), oranges & peanuts. Ahhhh just the thought of it makes me miss home so bad.

    Kong Hei Fatt Choy!!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 6, 2011

      Are you from New York originally, now living in Alaska? Oh, yes, it sounds like you’ve enjoyed your Chinese New Years in the past. Happy Year of the Rabbit!

      Reply
  46. StuckOutsideTheBox
    February 6, 2011

    I am a Wood Dog but it really does not describe me at ALL. Virgo, however, describes me to a T.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 6, 2011

      It’s funny how sometimes one zodiac’s characteristics may make more sense to us than another. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  47. eof737
    February 6, 2011

    Beautiful! I enjoyed your post very much. 🙂
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
    Eliz

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Eliz! Thanks for the congratulations on being Fresh Pressed, as well! Btw, I love that your blog is so motivational and positive.

      Reply
  48. batikmania
    February 6, 2011

    I definitely not a rabbit, nor a Chinese (hey… I know, there’s no connection between them). But I introduced the culture to my students, and we make a Chinese dragon as a craft project in my class. Here’s the blog post: http://batikmania.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/chinese-dragon-in-al-irsyad-satya/

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      I see. Thanks for sharing your blog with me. Those look like some fun dragon craft projects! I wish my projects in art class were that interesting!

      Reply
  49. sheila @ Elements
    February 6, 2011

    Yep…I’m a rabbit, but I never seen a Chinese New Year celebration nor have I ever tried lotus paste. I have no idea what it tastes like but I sure would like to try it. I can celebrate by wearing red, and I plan to give two gifts tomorrow. I just cleaned the house yesterday. Maybe I’ll find a plant to decorate with tomorrow. Now if I could just see that dance! 🙂

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      YouTube! Yes, I really like the lotus paste or red bean paste. The others, especially pineapple, not so hot for me. Looks like you doing a bunch of celebrating, with more in store! Have fun!

      Reply
  50. justleiah
    February 6, 2011

    First off, congrats on getting freshly pressed. im slightly upset that im not a rabbit and only a few years off too 🙁 hehe

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Thank you, Leiah. No need to be too concerned about not being a rabbit, your year will soon come up. And let’s hope this is a year everyone enjoys, no matter what your year/sign!

      Reply
  51. Heidi
    February 6, 2011

    I am a Fire Rabbit (born 1987). We have lots of snow up here and I live in a neighborhood with a little girl adopted from China who is five years old. We had a snowball fight a few days ago and she was telling me about Chinese New Year. It was uplifting becuase her parents put in a huge effort to teach her about her heritage.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Wow, that’s very inspiring and sweet that your adopted daughter’s parents went through such a concerted effort to not let her forget where she came from. Knowing where we’ve come helps us move forward. Hopefully that snow has not been encumbering, such as in other states of ours!

      Reply
  52. wondersokman
    February 6, 2011

    Wow your more of an expert than I am, and I’ve been celebrating Chinese New Year for the past decades of my life. Great blog, and stay away from the moon cakes, they may taste good, but full of calories and saturated fat!!!
    SUN-LEEN-FAI-LOK!!!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Oh, I’m no expert. I just happen to be an acupuncturist, who’s exposed to all kinds of cultural things in New York City. And I used to work in Chinatown, so I’m pretty familiar with it. Thanks for thinking, so, though! Yes, the mooncakes are full of calories, but when you’re celebrating, everything in moderation! 😉

      SUN-LEEN-FAI-LOK to you as well!

      Reply
  53. Trevor Rogers
    February 6, 2011

    Great article. Very informative and well written. I live about a mile from Vancouver’s Chinatown but I’v never been to the one in NYC. Love to see it one day.
    All the best!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Why thank you, Trevor! I wonder if you’ve taken part of any of the festivities in Vancouver’s Chinatown? We had a big celebration in downtown New York today, though I wasn’t able to make it. Have a great Chinese New Year!

      Reply
      • Trevor Rogers
        February 7, 2011

        And same to you! We did amble on down to the parade this afternoon in Vancouver. Good times!

        Reply
  54. Leslie
    February 6, 2011

    Gung Hei Fat Choy! I’m a rabbit, and my friends would tell you I fit the rabbit mold quite well. I love this New Year’s celebration – the pageantry, the sounds (firecrackers!), the colors and the absolute joy with which the new year is greeted. Peace and love to you throughout this Year of the Rabbit!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Peace and love to you as well throughout the Year of the Rabbit! May you and your family further enjoy the pageantry!

      Reply
  55. whenquiet
    February 6, 2011

    How I do miss New York! Wonderful information in your blog tinged with humor! I am a firm advocate of Chinese Traditional Medicine, Acupuncture and Reiki!!!.Congrats on FP!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      You can always take the lady out of New York City, but you can never take New York City out of the lady! I’m glad to hear you advocate for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, and Reiki, since I do practice all of that goodness right here in the heart of Manhattan. I appreciate your mention of my being Freshly Pressed!

      Reply
  56. herschelian
    February 6, 2011

    Xin Nian Hao! I see you wrote in Cantonese rather than Mandarin which is the standard putonghua here in China is that because most NY Chinese are originally from Canton (Guandong) or Hong Kong? I am enjoying my first spring festival – Chunjie – here in Beijing. Right now it is 9.30am on Monday 7th Feb and fireworks are still going off !! It’s been like a war zone! I describe some of the things that have been going on here in my blog. I am a Tiger, so ‘my’ year is now over – boo hoo, but the Year of the Rabbit looks very promising – may it bring you all your heart desires. Wan Shi Ru Yi!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Ni hao! Yes, the fireworks are great in Asia. I was in the Philippines for (non-Chinese) New Year’s, and the fireworks were so intense, people would say it’s almost like another war in the streets, and we’d have to go back inside after a while, or wear a handkerchief over our nose. What an experience!

      I’m not sure if NY Chinese are mostly Cantonese. But, now that I think about it, most of the folks I worked with in the heart of Chinatown were indeed Cantonese.

      The photos on your blog of the Ice & Light Sculptures are beautiful!

      Thanks for the new year wishes! May the Year of the Rabbit bring lots of prosperity and joy to you.

      Reply
  57. westz
    February 6, 2011

    Although I am not a Rabbit myself (Horse) I still wish you a very fortunate New Year!
    I hope to make this year count as well! Chinatown SF is nothing like Chinatown NYC 🙁

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Thanks, I wish you a wonderful, blessed New Year! Yes, I’m not a Rabbit either.

      I was at the Chinatown in SF in October; and though it’s different from Chinatown NYC, I really enjoyed it as well! Hope you get to enjoy some of the festivities.

      Reply
  58. DaisysBabyMama
    February 6, 2011

    Margarita–
    You are so so so awesome. I’m so proud of you that you were chosen as one of the “Freshly Pressed.” Margarita is super cool on so many levels, including being a maven of art and culture and a kick-ass activist. I’m also a client of Margarita’s accupuncture when I was feeling stressed out and vunerable and she rocked my world. I highly recommend her work.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Mari,

      Thanks for visiting! So glad you came to check my blog out. Yes, Maritess has known me for many years, back when more of my work focused on independently publishing my ‘zine, and community work. She, herself, is an accomplished master illusionist, one of the few female ones in the country (http://www.maritess.com). (In my opinion, probably the best.)

      I love that you mentioned the acupuncture treatment I gave you, and that you really liked it! It was my pleasure. Wish you were still back in the East Coast.

      Reply
  59. laurenjgiles
    February 6, 2011

    Happy Chinese New Year! 🙂

    Just wondering, when is the next year of the boar? I’ll have to dig out some red clothing for today then!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Happy Chinese New Year back atcha.

      The Year of the Boar/Pig is coming up in 2019. Lots of time to practice wearing red!

      Reply
  60. Jguno
    February 6, 2011

    I’m a tiger, and I’m so sad that the year of tiger just passed over!
    But I feel delighted because I found this blog through the Freshly Pressed.
    Wow!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Don’t be sad that your year is over, look forward to all of the calm we get to have after the tumultuous last year. Oh, that, and getting to see people make fools of themselves in bunny costumes, or bunny ears, for the sake of its celebration! 🙂 Is it Easter, or Chinese New Year?

      Reply
  61. sarahnsh
    February 6, 2011

    I’m a rabbit, and strangely enough my mother is a rabbit too. This may be why we bump heads so much, I don’t know, because we are so alike. I’m calm, stubborn, though I don’t think that I’m so lucky. I’m also a Taurus too which fits me perfectly, I’m a stubborn bull-head.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      What a coincidence that both you and your mother are Rabbits! I hope this year turns out to be a wonderful one for both of you.

      Reply
  62. Nagabenang
    February 7, 2011

    Gong Xi Fat Choi! ^^

    And fyi, the red envelopes are usually given from peoples who had married to unmarried peoples, to gave them good luck and successful life before they became brides themselves :).

    I’m a dragon, and looks like I still need to wait another ten years for my year to come, XD

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Happy Chinese New Year to you too!

      That’s an interesting point about the red envelopes. Isn’t that more common in South China? My understanding is that it’s given, in general, with money enclosed, as a symbol of good luck and to ward off evil spirits. At least, that’s what I’ve often observed of Chinese folks during New Year’s. Either way, thanks for the tidbit!

      Reply
  63. bluatthemoment
    February 7, 2011

    It was the biggest holidays in Korea as well.
    We had a long break from 2.2-2.6
    Everybody really enjoyed that break.
    People planned trips to the urban areas or even outside
    of the country. The country seemed very empty since
    no traffic and less people every where.
    As usual lots of food and 2kg(about 5pounds) increase in the weight
    but its the culture.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      I’m sure you enjoyed getting a long break! Did you end up planning a trip to an urban area, and/or eating lots of food? Yum!

      Reply
  64. Amie
    February 7, 2011

    Love this post! I am a rabbit and my mother is half Chinese. I don’t get to celebrate Chinese New Year here in the States anymore but I had great memories and experience of the celebration and the Dragon Dance when I was in Philippines. Gung Hei Fat Choy!

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Gung Hei Fat Choy to you as well! Glad you enjoyed this post. I noticed the beautiful pictures you took in the Philippines, and of the winter in Virginia. Hope you enjoy your rabbit year!

      Reply
  65. katiegou
    February 7, 2011

    I remember the excitement associated with Chinese new year while in primary school. It’s a shame that it is not celebrated more widely.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Wow, I never experienced Chinese New Year while in primary school. But, then again, I grew up in a small town. I hope you get to celebrate in your own way. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  66. theolrascal
    February 7, 2011

    hello…

    Reply
  67. tessalouise2011
    February 7, 2011

    I’m a fire rat, so I got a little while to wait yet ^_^ But I hope this year is a good year for all you metal rabbits 😛 Chinese New Year is really awesome tbh 😀

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Well, I hope it’s great year for all of us non-Rabbits, as well! Hope you enjoy the New Year.

      Reply
  68. thejamminjabber
    February 7, 2011

    15 days??? I work on Grand St. and one day of drums and cymbals at 8am was enough 🙂

    The dragons were very cool, tho.

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Aha, you and the drums and cymbals were one at 8am? Talk about ringing in the New Year! Glad you enjoyed the dragons, and hopefully you’ll be able to grab some mooncakes!

      Reply
  69. bookjunkie
    February 7, 2011

    Out of all the recent freshly pressed posts…yours stood out. I was in vietnam on holiday when I logged on to WordPress and now that I’m back I have a chance to read your post in full. It deserved more attention than just a glance.

    They celebrate the year of the Cat in Vietnam, instead of the rabbit…Isn’t that cool? Back in Singapore it’s still bunny mania and it’s a real festive time here as well 🙂

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 7, 2011

      Why, thanks for noticing my freshly pressed post! I guess it doesn’t hurt that you were in Vietnam at the time, and that you were disposed to the festivities over there, too! Yes, isn’t it interesting about the Rabbit being a Cat in Vietnam? I’ve read somewhere that the Cat may have been the original sign before the Rabbit…

      By the way, those are some gorgeous photos you took of the New Year in Vietnam. Especially of the kids in traditional wear! Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
  70. mybusinessaddiction
    February 8, 2011

    It is great to learn more about the Chiinese New Year through your blog. I have red braids on at the moment and I’m feeling rather proud that I am “wearing red” :). What’s also amazing is that you managed to reply virtually every single comment on this post! You go, girl! Congrats on being FP. K

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 10, 2011

      You’ve got red braids on? I know lots of folks like to don some festive shirt or dress, but you’ve got it in your locks? That must be somethin’ to see!

      LOL, yes, I have managed to reply to every single comment! It’s wonderful to connect with folks.

      Happy Chinese New Year! And continued success in Scotland.

      Reply
  71. jessicaber
    February 12, 2011

    I am the year of the rabbit. My birthday is 1/31/1975.

    Reply
  72. lixximajig
    February 19, 2011

    I love Chinese New Year! I’m a Dragon and I can’t wait till next year where it’ll be my year! 😀

    Reply
    • Alcantara Acupuncture
      February 19, 2011

      Year of the Dragon sounds to be an intense one! Enjoy your new year, and thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  73. Of Hapa-Ness & The Unlikelihood of Pinhead - Alcantara Acupuncture & Healing Arts
    April 20, 2014

    […] of all, thanks to everyone who checked out my Chinese New Year Post last week.  It sure helps that it was Freshly Pressed!  Hopefully, everyone’s been able to […]

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