Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gong Xi Fa Chai!

I just looked at the Star Wars calendar (one of my birthday presents last January) on the wall next to this computer and realized that today is the Chinese New Year! I guess the Year of the Rat has now really, truly begun.

Best seasonal wishes to all, and especially to my many wonderful Chinese friends...not one of whom lives in China (unless you count either Macao or Taiwan)...

(picture courtesy of


  • Okay, dumb question from the audience: So I take the Japanese don't celebrate lunar new year?

    Cool image, by the way!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:04 AM  

  • Nikkipolani
    That's not a stupid question at all. It's a very good one.

    Actually, the Japanese themselves don't celebrate or even acknowledge the lunar new year anymore. The solar calendar was adopted in the late 19th century, when the Meiji Restoration overthrew the shogun-led bakufu government and restored imperial rule. Emperor Meiji was actually infatuated with the West, Britain in particular, and so he introduced a great many British ideas into Japan from the 1870s. The solar calendar was one of them. January 1st replaced the Chinese lunar new year as shogatsu (New Year) in 1873.

    The only place you see the Chinese new year celebrated here is in areas with significant Chinese populations, such as the famous Chinatown in Yokohama.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 11:24 AM  

  • Cool dragon.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 2:59 PM  

  • *reads the explantion of Japan calendar*

    Good to understand more :)

    Gong Xi Fa Cai, Moody! Have a prosperous rat year ahead!

    By Blogger Selba, at 11:22 PM  

  • Gung Xi Fa Chai, Minstrel!

    I can never decide how to spell it!

    Like: Hapee Nyoo Yeah!

    By Blogger Olivia, at 8:55 AM  

  • Happy New Year of the RAT!

    Thank you for your extraordinary CNY greetings, my wonderful friend. ;-)

    I couldn't see such beautiful dragon in this year.

    By Anonymous L.C_D, at 1:02 PM  

  • 1873! What else that can't fit into your head, my friend? :)

    But Macao is China, like Hong Kong, no? Couldn't say anything about Taiwan then - it will offend both (China and Taiwan) no matter what you say, really. (on their sovereignty)

    Hope you have had a nice weekend too!

    By Blogger @ロウ 。LOW@, at 4:47 PM  

  • Thank you, MM. May the Year of the Rat be a greater year for you.

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 6:39 PM  

  • PandaB

    Thank you. Right now it seems the only way it can go is up, but I dunno...

    Thanks, and same to you.

    Dragons are EVERYWHERE! You just have to look for them.

    Yes, just what constitutes "China" can be a really touchy issue, can't it? Have a good year!

    Well, it's getting off to a lousy start, but hopefully things will get better...

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 7:05 PM  

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