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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Lunar New Year 2015

I remember growing up near San Francisco's Chinatown it was "Happy Chinese New Year" but now with such a diverse population in California the holiday is celebrated by many other Asians such as Vietnamese and Koreans. Thus, today the proper greeting in English is "Happy Lunar New Year!"

I've heard it referred to as Year of the ram, goat and sheep.
Excerpts from Chinese new year: Is it the year of the ram, sheep or goat?

  • This confusion is caused by Mandarin Chinese character yang: 羊
  • Its apparent meaning is 'horned animal' — an encompassing term that doesn't really help journalists, event planners and new year celebrators decide which member of the Caprinae family they're supposed to be honouring.
  • Some experts, including Professor Ho Che-wah at Chinese University, trace this mix-up back to BC, when the 12-year cycle Chinese zodiac was first introduced during the Han dynasty.
  • That mystifying yang character, found on bones used for divination, was interpreted as an animal with two horns and a pointy face.

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