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CHINESE  NEW  YEAR

The year of the Rabbit will start on Feb. 16, 1999.

On the same day, another great   portion of humanity will have the joy to celebrate Mardi Gras.

Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the first Lunar month of the year. The party goes on for the first three weeks of the new moon.

Like in other cultures, New Year symbolizes the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. All debts are paid, new clothes are bought, everything is cleaned. A new cycle begins. All the Chinese people get a year older on Chinese New Year, it is everybody's birthday.
 

For many weeks before New Year, special food is prepared, homes are decorated with red and orange ornaments, scrolls are hung with good wishes : Good Health, Happiness, Happy New Year, Long life!

Family and friends come to visit on the New Year. Good Luck dragons are parading all over, enter homes and businesses and fireworks light up the sky.

The legends says that Buddha invited all the animals to come and celebrate with him. Only 12 animals came and Lord Buddha named each year after the 12 animals in the order they presented themselves towards him, the Rat was the first etc...

If you were born in 1963, like Brad Pitt (see our article on Meet Joe Black) or me, then the year of the Rabbit is your year. The same applies if you were born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1975, 1987, just like : Albert Einstein, Orson Welles, Marie Curie,  Neil Sedaka and Francis Ford Coppola.

                      What are the Rabbits' 
                        characteristics?

Rabbits are affectionate, obliging, pleasant and appearance conscious, with a love of fine things.

They have a tendency to be too sentimental and will strive to avoid changes. They are ill at ease during arguments, preferring a quiet, peaceful life-- probably because they are guilty of crying too easily. That is their sentimental and compassionate side showing.

Rabbits are usually charismatic people, often witty, intelligent speaker who enjoy nothing more than a good discussion. That is not to say they are argumentative-- actually a Rabbit can be relied upon to preserve peace, even letting insults pass by rather than facing further confrontation.

Appearances being important for them, Rabbits will strive to own better things in life. Their love of security makes their home an important base, filled with beautiful things, for the Rabbit is also known for his artistic good taste.

Those who employ Rabbits should feel fortunate- Rabbits are methodical and conscientious and make excellent communicators. Rabbits are born under the signs of virtue and prudence, making them loyal, honest employees, respected by all for their integrity.

Unfortunately, this has a downside. If the Rabbit finds himself in a position of power, he demands these traits from his subordinates, and can become                 authoritarian.

Rabbits enjoy the company of a significant other, but they are not the most faithful marriage partner, they are best suited with the Goat, Pig, Snake and Ox.

Rabbits should avoid the Rat and Rooster as these signs are too confrontational for the peace-seeking Rabbit.

On the third day of the Lunar Year, the Chinese celebrate the "Lantern Festival". It is to show respect to the stars. Lanterns are hung in the doorways of shops and homes to bring good luck. 

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