Chinese New Year

February 9 marks a second chance for all of us to put those lapsed resolutions into practice. Here are a few websites that provide information about Chinese customs at this time of the year, and beyond. 2005 marks the Year of the Rooster, in case you did not know. And the Chinese celebrate everyone’s birthday together on this one date. Not a bad idea. Note that this week’s online edition is abbreviated. I found some bad links and so I did my best to delete them before you could get hung up in the wrong place.

China Page . A moveable feast, Chinese New Year is calculated by the second new moon after winter solstice. This website explains that the date marks “Spring Festival,” ending 15 days later with the Lantern Festival. The 2005 Year of the Rooster is year 4702, “Yiyou,” a calendar cycle based on stems and branches. To understand the cycle in more depth, you’ll have to log on to the next website below.

Year of the Rooster and Animal Zodiac. I know you were waiting for this. These are good places to learn the characteristics of a Rooster person, and you can use links to learn about the 11 other zodiac animals, and their compatibility with other signs. But for more in-depth definitions, be sure to check out the next website below.

Chinese Zodiac . What does the current year have in store for you according to your Chinese zodiac sign? This is the place to find out (free!). I hope the webmaster has updated the site, because she had yet to do so when I found the site four weeks ago. Another good website to check out is the Chinese Fortune Calendar .

Chinese Lantern Collection . The 15th day of Chinese New Year is celebrated with a Lantern Festival. The person who created this website began a hobby several years ago creating exquisite paper lanterns. His gallery is quite large. Ignore what he says about not giving instructions on how to make them, because at the end of his 2004 gallery, he indeed gives instructions and diagrams. If you have the patience of a saint, you might be able to follow what looked to me like very complicated cutting and folding diagrams. How many people do you know who create Chinese lanterns?

Fortune Cookie . Click the link on this page and a pop-up window will reveal a random fortune. If you don’t like the one that pops up, close the window, click again, and a different fortune is yours. You could keep doing this all day, I suppose. It won’t work if you have completely disabled all pop-ups, or if you have one of those programs that blocks all of them automatically. In that case, get thee to a Chinese restaurant and as for a real fortune cookie. The benefit is that you have a paper fortune to keep and a sugary confection to eat.

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on February 8, 2005.

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