Today marks the first day of the Lunar New Year. Based on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar, this event is observed with 15 days of celebration that rings in the new year to a fantastic extreme! Each day is celebrated differently, with events like gifting one another money in red paper envelopes (known as hóngbāo), lighting amazing fireworks displays, and making offerings of food and fare to the gods, but it all culminates on the final day when the extravagant and boisterous Lantern Festival is held. The beginnings of the event can be traced back over 2000 years, when Buddhism was first budding in China, and one of the most popular activities is for children to go out and solve riddles written onto the lanterns–a scavenger hunt like no other.
As part of this traditional calendar, each year is represented by a different animal, and these animals compose the Chinese Zodiac; this year, it’s the year of the pig! It’s easy to think that being born in the year of some Zodiac animals would have less exciting meanings when compared to, say, the dragon or the tiger, but this actually isn’t true. All of the Zodiac figures bring equal affinities. Being the twelfth and final Zodiac animal, the pig represents a calmer state than the rest, and is typically associated with artistic and philosophical endeavors. They are creators and visionaries, but they also really like to relax. It’s even said that at the great zodiac meeting, the pig was the last to arrive because it stopped to have a snack and take a nap!
At Zhang Sah, we think cultural diversity should always be celebrated, so check out the fun ways students and staff at our program for #martialartslessons, #afterschoolcare, and #prekindergarten rang in the first day of the Year of the Pig:
We have a lot more fun activities planned. Stay tuned for pictures from our Lantern celebration (no, not like that Jack o’ Lantern in the bottom right picture!) or have your kids should join in too!
Get more information on our programming at http://zhangsah.org
and check out this Chinese Zodiac Chart to find your sign! https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac