2020 was a Rat. Seriously, in the Chinese Zodiac it was the year of the Rat. That’s not as bad as you might think, but it seems like it should be.
Today is Chinese New Year. It’s the Year of the Ox. The Chinese New Year is typically the second new moon after the Winter solstice. It’s not exactly then. But mostly. And that’s today.
We celebrate Chinese New Year. My son was born in China. Another son’s birth father was from China. So, it’s cultural for us. We make a traditional American Chinese meal. Orange Chicken is not a native Chinese dish. We add rice, mixed vegetables, egg rolls, and home canned grape juice.
And we had family over. Not a big crowd. Probably bigger than Dr Fauci would like. Me, my lovely wife, eight of our kids, one son-in-law, and three grandbabies. We had plenty of food.
The table was covered in a red table cloth. We had a a traditional Chinese treasure ship as our center piece.
Each child got a red envelope with money in it. Not a lot. Just a token amount really. It’s for luck.
We each took turns figuring out which Chinese zodiac sign we were born under. I’m a Dragon. We had monkeys, rabbits, and rats.
The thing is, the Rat is a desirable zodiac sign. In fact, Chinese hospitals report an increase in birth rates during the year of the rat. Rats are known for acute observation, positive attitude and flexible mind.
I’m a Dragon. Dragons are know for leadership, knowledge, power and capability. Dragons are also ambitious and driven to realize their dreams. Apparently we are also adventurous.
I have two sons born in 2000. One was born in January the other in April. Year 2000 was the year of the Dragon. But, only one sone is a dragon, the one born in April. Remember I said today is the New Year? So, if you are born prior to the start of the new year, you are part of the previous year. So, the son born in January was a Rabbit. (The animal from the year before, 1999.)
The Zodiac is a fun tradition. It’s one that we’ll continue. And eventually my grandchildren will get the red envelopes from Grammy and Poppa.
And here’s to hoping that the Year of the Ox will help us all forget the Year of the Rat.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
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