Thursday, February 3, 2011


This great-grandma (me, Leona!) is headed “over the river and through the woods” to my newest
great granddaughter’s home in Baltimore today.
Makenna Lee Humes is my 7th GREAT-GRAND and is
about 6 weeks old. I haven’t seen her yet because of winter road conditions and transportation.
The second of
my four sons, Cliff, who is the “Grandpappy” of Makenna, will come from Frederick, MD to fetch me.
"If the crick don't freeze" and the weather forecaster won't be wrong as usual.)

It is traditional to visit families with a new baby and bring them a symbol of the animal which is
being celebrated in the Chinese calendar of the current year.
That happens to be the "Bunny Wabbit"
for this year 2011!

In Chinese mythology, the Year of the Rabbit symbol represents longevity and it is believed
that the Rabbit enjoys a close relationship with the moon. Westerners may refer to the
man in the moon,
but when the Chinese peer up at the moon, what they see is the Rabbit standing by a rock, holding a cup
that overflows with the elixir of immortality. /(Eternal life in Christ in Christian terms!) As symbols go, the
rabbit symbol is considered one of the finest.
               It is the custom for visiting guests or family to bring something RED to friends
at CHINESE NEW YEAR, for instance, something to wear or to eat. TEA is also shared,
especially flower-tea. Children are given small red and gold paper envelopes with money
as gifts. (Substitutions are acceptable--like greeting cards! )
                Instead of celebrating each person's birthday on his actual "birth" day, in China
on CHINESE NEW YEAR everyone--child and adult, even a newborn baby--becomes one
year older. (That messes up birth certificates, passports and official documents!) Well, we'll
see how far we can carry out some of these customs. I won't bring any firecrackers with me
though--another NY custom.
     Since VALENTINE'S DAY is so near, I guess we’ll also throw in celebration for that
day today.
     This will be Makenna Lee's (BTW, her middle name is after me, which is the nickname
my friends called me in my school years) first Chinese New Year and first Valentine's
Day. Woo-hoo!

"The celebration of the Chinese New Year is a centuries old tradition. It marks the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 animal signs. The Year of 2011 is the *Year of the Golden Rabbit*, which begins on *February 3, 2011* and ends on January 22, 2012. The Rabbit is the fourth sign of the Chinese Zodiac and is considered a lucky sign. As Christians we don’t pay attention to horoscopes, but it is generic fun to learn about cultural traditions.
According to Chinese tradition, those born in the Year of the Rabbit are friendly individuals who enjoy the company of good friends. They are good teachers, counselors and communicators, but also need privacy and their own space. According to Chinese tradition, the rabbit brings a year in which we all can catch our breath and calm our nerves. It is a time to focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children. Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise. (That's good, huh?) Sounds like a perfect year to appreciate the most important things in your life and to protect those closest to you. So be a rabbit this year and take a calm and introspective approach to the decisions you make."
(I stole the above wisdom from some Google web site! )

Oh! This is written in a hurry! I hear the toot of a horn—we are on the way! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR again to all my blog friends. When we lived in China and other places in Asia, we celebrated it big time…in the West it is soft-pedaled except that folks may go out to a local Chinese restaurant and indulge in goodies. Good idea? Enjoy!


1 comment:

Jan Nichols said...

Congratulations on the birth of your newest family member! That was the most interesting, informative letter about the year of the "rabbit" as well as the Chinese New Year in general! You are so right about "us Catholics" knowing very little about horoscopes. At times, I was VERY tempted to read mine for the day....but then I would just say, "get behind me Satan" and go to something else. However, understanding cultures around the world can do nothing but help unite us... Thank you, Leona!