Gung hai fat choi!

With February 3, 2011 marking the first day of the lunar calendar, we have now entered the year of the rabbit. My basic understanding of rabbits is that this should bode well for our love life aspirations for the year. The official prognosis, however, is more nuanced:

Rabbit years tend to bear some of the characteristics of their namesake animal. They are said to be generally quiet, positive and inspiring. The oracles of cyberspace also suggest that family, diplomacy and personal development will be buzzwords for this year, and yes, love and romance feature prominently in their forecast as well. It is suggested that this will be a year for making art instead of bombs, love instead of war, and generally appreciating everyone and everything.

For those unfamiliar with the mechanics of Chinese New Year, getting the most out of the lunar year will require more than just attendance at a parade. There are also numerous traditions involving gift giving, cooking, festivities and family gatherings, among other customs. Beyond partying, there are also innumerable traditions geared towards the stockpiling of good luck for the coming year. For best results, we recommend that you:

(1) don’t wash your hair, lest you wash your luck down the drain;

(2) don’t sweep your home, but also try to take a proactive approach to not getting it dirty either;

(3) wear as much red as possible (new clothing purchases can be re-justified in another few days for Valentine’s Day);

(4) don’t yell or get into arguments (it wouldn’t be very rabbit-like of you anyways);

(5) decorate your unswept home with treats wrapped in red; and

(6) give yellow flowers a try as a potential luck-garnering accessory for your home.

These are only but a few of the traditions at your disposal for this special time of the year, but remember to also take the time to enjoy yourself and good company too.