Monday, January 30, 2006

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade.
The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. In order to "catch up" with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-yearcycle). This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors.
The sacrifice to the ancestors, the most vital of all the rituals, united the living members with those who had passed away. Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and glory of the family.
The presence of the ancestors is acknowledged on New Year's Eve with a dinner arranged for them at the family banquet table. The spirits of the ancestors, together with the living, celebrate the onset of the New Year as one great community. The communal feast called "surrounding the stove" or weilu. It symbolizes family unity and honors the past and present generations.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Belated Happy New Year

Been very busy over the festive period.Work wise we had a good few party's during the week and a massive Hogmany Party on the Saturday night and a wedding reception on the Sunday.
Janicel and I did managed to get out with some friends a couple of times between work which we both enjoyed even if it meant I only got a couple of hours sleep.
Now it's all over for another year,Jamie is still telling me Santa forgot to bring "the train set" to which I reply "next year".He has two already.
Hannah is growing fast and becoming quite a wee character laughing and playing with everyone.
And thats about it just now,next big event is Chinese New Year at the end of the month,another long weekend.