“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.”
- Terri Guillemets, American quotation anthologist, 1973 -
新春大吉, 万事如意 “May the new spring brings you an abundance of luck, and may ten thousand things be according to your wishes.” Approximately 1.4B people worldwide celebrate the Lunar New Year (农历初一) on 1st February this year. Though many of us may know it is the year of Water Tiger, for those who understand the Chinese lunar calendar, you know only those who are born on and after 4th February (立春), the 4th day of Lunar New Year this year will have the Chinese Zodiac of the Water Tiger (壬寅). A person born before 4th February, including those on the first three days of the Chinese New Year, still carry the Chinese Zodiac of Metal OX (辛丑).
Indeed, the Chinese calendar can be quite complex for those who grow up with the modern-day Gregorian calendar. The last Water Tiger year was 1962, based on the Chinese cyclical eras of sixty years (also known as the sexagenary calendar.) Incidentally, Hindus also have a very similar 60-year cyclic calendar. Both civilizations were agriculturally based, with lunar calendars as their roots. One may wonder, aeons ago, if there were any cross-cultural exchanges between the two on this.
Besides the Spring Festival, those who wish to celebrate “Love and Romance” with their dear ones can celebrate twice this month. If you truly want to be cross-cultural, on the 14th for St. Valentine’s Day with the western Gregorian calendar, the 15th for the Chinese Yuan Xiao Jie (元宵节) or Lantern festival with the lunar calendar. Now, if you have missed our past years’ newsletters on the Chinese New Year festival, you may refer to this informative 15 days celebration guide: https://www.chinatravel.com/
Happy 壬寅年, the Year of the Water Tiger!
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My very dear friend who grew up loving Winnie-the-Pooh once gave me a Tigger figurine, and it now sits on the shelf next to my work table. Since it is the year of Tiger, I thought to share with you this one and only one “Tigger” in the Hundred Acre Wood that has the audacity never to call himself Tiger, but “Tigger! ” (T-I-G-G-E-R!)
Amongst all Pooh’s pals (Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Tigger, Owl and Rabbit,) I am most taken by Tigger; mine has a French name, “Tigre.” Perhaps because Tigger or “Tigre” is quite a unique character, he has a larger-than-self personality. He is self-assured, filled with great energy and optimism, mischievous, but always well-meaning. The chaos and trouble Tigger gets himself and his friends into often add excitement and laughter to life in the peaceful Hundred Acre Wood.
Tigger likes to say: “Bouncing is what Tiggers do best.” Despite all the challenges we faced in the past two years, I hope Tigger, our English tiger’s philosophy will inspire us for this Chinese Tiger Year. While we may not have had the best hand of good cards in recent years, we can certainly try to bounce back by playing our hands well!
Here is the adorable one and only one Tigger if you have not met him yet:
Gong Xi Fa Cai, Happy Bouncing & Roaring!
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