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What’s in a Year?

This month, let me take the opportunity to address two common misconceptions for those new to the ancient Chinese culture: #1: The Chinese Zodiac sign changes with the Chinese/Lunar New Year – many would have thought that the Chinese Tiger year ends, while the Rabbit year begins on the 1st day of the Chinese/Lunar New Year (i.e. the 22nd of January). No, it doesn’t!

Year of the Rabbit TCG January 2023

The 12-animal zodiac cycle follows the Chinese Astrology calendar, and the cycle change takes place on Li Chun (立春), the “Beginning of Spring.” Li Chun usually falls on February 3rd, 4th or 5th. For 2023, it will be the 4th; therefore, the Water Rabbit year will only start on the 4th of February in 2023. (i.e. babies born from the 22nd of January to the 3rd of February are still Water Tiger year babies…)

#2: One may think the year will be good when it aligns with one’s birth zodiac animal. No, not necessarily so. According to Chinese astrology beliefs, there is a concept known as “Fan Tai Sui (犯太岁), which means one may be in conflict or clash with the reigning Emperor (Grand Duke of Jupiter) during one’s birth zodiac year. The year may be challenging, i.e. it can be excellent if one’s luck is high, or it can be rather devastating when one’s fortune is low. If you are interested to know more about this concept – here is a quick read: https://www.yourchineseastrology.com/zodiac/fan-tai-sui/2023.htm.

new year collage TCG January 2023

So while we await the Water Rabbit year in February, let’s return to the International (Gregorian) or Lunar New Year.

Now, what is in a year? 365 days, 8,760 hours. If we divide our activities into 30-minute blocks, we will have 17,520 blocks in a year. By the time you read this, assuming you open the newsletter the minute it reaches you, 8 hours or 16 blocks would have slipped through your 2023 clock, and you would have had 17,504 blocks left. Yes, Time is our most precious asset because no one can ever get it back once it is gone (at least not until there is a time machine.) On top of that, no one will know how much time we each have in our possession.

Because it is so precious, we need to use our time intentionally regardless if we follow the Gregorian, Lunar, or Chinese Astrology calendar. A new year is simply a time for Renewal – it is a season to reconnect with the people we care about and decide what matters to us most. Let’s not waste it; let’s get busy for the remaining 17,503 blocks (or less, depending on when you read this line!) and enjoy every moment this new cycle brings!

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