February 19 is the start of this year’s Chinese New Year. Of course everything really unleashes on New Year’s Eve, Wednesday February 18. The firecrackers and lion dances will signal the beginning of the biggest party of the year.
This is the most important celebration for Chinese families in China and in countries dispersed all around the world. For many in countries where it is recognized, workers enjoy 8 days off of work. In the western calendar the dates are February 19 to March 5.
Officially work stops for the first three days of the Spring Festival. However, practice has evolved into including New Year’s Eve and the following three days as well. Naturally, the following or closest weekends are included.
Central to the festivities is a family time with relatives and the closest of friends. This is the holiday when families convene for a feast and reunion. Multi-generational gatherings are the standard.
It is the year of the goat. Do not laugh. The goat is highly regarded among the Chinese, especially ancient Chinese.
This 8th animal from the Chinese Zodiac embodies many wonderful qualities. Those who are born in the year of the goat are calm, gentle, creative, thoughtful, amicable, persevering, frank and honest. It is suggested that being born in the year of the goat makes someone most suitable to become pediatrician, actor, teacher, interior designer, musicians and editors.
It is also speculated that these persons are tough on the inside, quiet yet powerful in performance. While they enjoy quality in the things that they buy they are by no means snobbish or ego-centric. In fact they are often withdrawn, lost deep in thought.
While there are over 4,000 years behind this tradition, the pathway to real life solutions is not found in country or position. Earthly wealth is not the key and certainly a life warding off evil spirits leaves a lot to be desired for any kind of personally satisfaction. Yet, the attempts over the 4,000 years of this celebration reveal a telltale sign.
Everyone wants hope. But, this appetite is not found in superstition or good luck charms. Instead, real hope can be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is real while so much of the Chinese New Year Celebration is built on human imagination. Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again so that He could show His victory over death. Put your faith in Him. Accept Him as your Savior and you will be blessed. That will be a real reason to celebrate for eternity.
photo credit: brucefong photography