Sunday, February 2, 2014

The year of the Horse!

It is wonderful being in Malaysia for the Chinese New Year Celebrations which is also known as the Spring Festival. The shops are adorned in red and gold and everything that shines! At night, the sky is lit up with amazing fireworks. I realise that many people are inconvenienced by the noise and the big bangs that happen when crackers and fireworks are used but maybe we all need to be a little more tolerant of each others cultures and beliefs at these special times of the year. What I object to is when someone chooses to let crackers for no real rhyme or reason late at night in built up areas. I think of the Moms who may have just got the little ones off to sleep and then these loud bangs take place and they have to start all over again! Of course animals are a huge consideration too. Many Chinese folk keep dogs and treat them like royalty and I am sure they would take this into consideration during the festive season and protect their animals somehow. I know friends who give their pets tranquilizers and hide them in cupboards during these noisy times.

I confess that I love watching firework displays and this week in K.L. From our apartment on the 22nd floor we have watched the most amazing displays taking place. I also think of the MONEY that is being burnt, but then it's not mine!

Do we know why Chinese people let off fireworks? If we did, perhaps we would be a little more tolerant. According to ancient Chinese belief a beast called "year" arrived after the family dinner on the last night of the old year. Fire and noise were needed to chase it off. Nowadays families must stay awake until midnight when crackers are let off as this beast is afraid of loud noise and the colour red represents fire. Houses are adorned with red lanterns and red decorations.

Mandarins or naartjies as we call them, are presented as gifts because the word for mandarin is every similar to that of good luck or fortune. These beliefs have continued through the ages and are celebrated where there is a settlement of Chinese folk.It is all about Good luck. Fortunately for us K.L. Is mostly emptied out as people go to their family homes. The traffic is easy and there are no queues in the Malls.

The year of the Snake has had to give way to the Year of the Horse which is the seventh sign of the Lunar Cycle.

I am the Kaleidoscope of the mind.

I impart light, colour and perpetual motion.

I think, I see, I am moved by electric fluidity.

Constant only in my inconstancy,

I am unshackled by mundane holds,

Unchecked by sturdy, binding goals.

I run unimpeded through virgin paths.

My spirit unconquered-

My soul forever free.


Theodora Lau. The handbook of Chinese Horoscopes.

To my Chinese friends I wish them Gang Xi Fa Cai!!




  1. Thank you for sharing your Chinese New Year experience. I enjoy reading how or what others think about the festivities and traditions during this time of year.

  2. Thank you for reading my post. I tried commenting on yours and I received a comment."unable to post your comment"! Not sure why.