Thursday, February 7

The Chinese New Year of the Rat

( ~ C-Special Feature )





China has been a part of Philippines history...

Even before the Spaniards reigned tyrannically; Japanese enslave, murdered and conquered; and Americans bought and falsely made everyone believe that they save the Philippines... there were the peaceful Chinese who traded with the early Filipinos. By their peaceful ways, the early Filipinos whole heartedly welcome the Chinese traders who later established a Chinese Community or "China Town" in Manila. The Chinese people found a new home and a place for business here in the Philippines. Through the long years of their stay here, interrelation and mixed of cultures was inevitable. Filipinos adopted their culture and beliefs and the Chinese also adopted our language and culture as well.



Early Filipinos Bartered with the Chinese.
Images from http://www.philonline.com.ph/~kaisa/khc_btsinoy.html


One of these adopted culture which the Chinese Community celebrates every year is the Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is celebrated differently from the common New Year that every country celebrates as a New Year Enters. According to Wikipedia Chinese New Year starts on the first day of the new year containing a new moon and ends on the Lantern Festival fourteen days later.



The Emergence of Chinese community
Images from http://www.philonline.com.ph/~kaisa/khc_btsinoy.html


From the past experiences and observations I had through the years the following are commonly seen in the Chinese New Year Celebration...

Dragon and Lion Dances




Dragon Dance



Lion Dance


Loud beats of drums and deafening sounds of cymbals accompanied by the Dragon and Lion Dances are believed to drive evil spirits out.


Lucky Charms





Good Luck Charms and Decorations are all over the place. This are to negate the negative effects and drive the positive energy into one's home or establishment. If you're year is not compatible with the current Animal Year or element then Feng Shui Experts suggests you take one of these charms.


The Delicacies



Tikoy(upper left) and Moon Cake(lower right)



Tikoy is known as a Chinese New Year Pudding and is made up of glutinous rice flour, wheat starch, salt, water, and sugar. Sticky and sweet by nature, it is said that having this on every table will further hold and keep the bond of the family members towards each other.

Mooncakes are round or rectangular pastries, measuring about 10 cm in diameter and 4-5 cm thick. A thick filling usually made from lotus seed paste is surrounded by a relatively thin (2-3 mm) crust and may contain yolks from salted duck eggs. Mooncakes are rich, heavy, and dense compared with most Western cakes and pastries.


The Chinese New Year for this year is celebrated this day February 07, 2008 the year of the Earth Rat according to the Chinese Zodiac...



1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

People born in the Year of the Rat are noted for their charm and attraction for the opposite sex. They work hard to achieve their goals, acquire possessions, and are likely to be perfectionists. They are basically thrifty with money. Rat people are easily angered and love to gossip. Their ambitions are big, and they are usually very successful. They are most compatible with people born in the years of the Dragon, Monkey, and Ox.



The Rat year is a year of plenty, bringing opportunity and good prospects. It will be marked by speculation and fluctuations in the prices of commodities and the stock market; the world economy in general will boom. Business will be on the upswing, fortunes can be made and it will be an easy time to accumulate wealth. However, this is also the time to make long-term investment plans as the bonanza the year of the Rat brings will serve to see us through the bleak years that may follow. All ventures begun at this time will be successful if one prepares well. But do not take chances or unnecessary risks: the year of the Rat is still ruled by the cold of winter and the darkness of night. Those who speculate indiscriminately and overextend themselves will come to a sad reckoning.



On the whole, this will be a happier year than most: free from explosive events and wars and with far less catastrophes than, say, the years of the Tiger or the Dragon.

Nonetheless, it will be spicy. It promises a lot of bickering, bargaining and petty arguments that will do little harm. A congenial time that will find most of us socializing and enjoying ourselves.

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