In the eye of the tiger in 2010

Kung Hei Fat Choi! These words are the traditional greeting used at the time of the new Moon that heralds the beginning of the Chinese New Year, according to their ancient Lunar Calendar. And we can be sure they will be echoing around the world on Sunday as the Chinese New Year of the Tiger is launched.

Legend has it that the Chinese Animal Zodiac began when, after the Buddha’s enlightenment, he called the animals to him. The clever Rat hitched a ride on the Ox, and was thus the first creature to arrive. Each was given a year to rule in order of their appearance, lending their qualities to that year.

The Year of the Tiger (corresponding with our Valentine’s Day) promises much ardour and passion for many, and perhaps a year in which the power of love lights up solutions to many of our problems.

The Chinese New Year is deeply rooted in this ancient culture, and signifies a new start in life. Red is the colour of the day, and people often exchange gifts of money in red envelopes. The celebrations take place with much fanfare, including the famous Dragon dance, fireworks and cleaning the house. These traditions are highly important and ensure that any negative energy from the previous year is cleared away, and the fresh, vital energy of the New Year is able to circulate through homes and businesses.

A Tiger Year is associated with high energy, changes and innovation. The trick is to harness this powerful, and what can be prosperous, yang energy wisely. (An out of control Tiger can be deadly.) The advice is that by celebrating, being happy with smiling faces around, and to refrain from scowling, quarrelling or criticising anyone on the day of the New Year, that is exactly what you will do.


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