Exciting news: my historical thriller, Rabbit in the Moon, has been selected as one among best books on modern China’s myths, religions, politics, and culture. Check out the site. The novel is available in print, eBook and Audiobook.
Rabbit in the Moon
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!
Today (Sunday, February 10, 2013) is the first day of this important annual celebration marking the start of the new year according to the Chinese lunisolar calendar. The holiday is also known as the Spring Festival because in pre-modern times it was the seasonal sign that farmers in China had to start sowing their fields.
The date usually falls in the months of January or February and each new year is represented by one of the twelve creatures of the Chinese Zodiac. 2013 is the year of the Snake, also called the Junior Dragon. According to ancient Chinese wisdom, a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means that the family will not starve.
People born under the sign of the snake (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013) share certain personality characteristics. They are said to be cunning, thoughtful and wise. They are also great mediators and good at doing business.
The characteristics of the Snake are tempered by one of the 5 Chinese elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth overlaying a 5-year cycle of characteristics on the original 12-year cycle.
In 2013, that element is water. Water Snakes are influential and insightful. They are good at managing others, are motivated, intellectual, determined and resolute about being successful at whatever they do. Although they are affectionate with family and friends, they tend to hide this side of their personality from colleagues or business partners.
More than a billion people around the world will be ushering in the Year of the Snake with festivities that last for a few weeks after new year’s day.
Not only is holiday celebrated in China, but also in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Taiwan, Macau, Mauritius, Philippines,Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, as well as in Chinatowns everywhere from Canada to the US to Africa to Australia.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper cutouts and Chinese poetry about good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity.
Typically on New Year’s eve, Chinese families gather for the annual reunion dinner which is a big feast. Dishes include pork, duck, chicken, sweet delicacies as well as fish. The tradition is that the fish is not finished during the meal, so that it can be stored overnight – a belief that the years will be blessed and profitable. Families end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.
Celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Day itself to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese calendar.
We wish a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful year to all!
WXEL’s Florida Forum radio show’s Forth of July special will re-air past interviews of local authors who have books they think will be great summer reading. Our interview will air on 90.7 FM Sunday July 4 at 11am , and re-air Monday July 5 at 7pm.
The show streams LIVE, so anyone with access to the Internet can listen to it at the above date/times, by going to www.wxel.org and clicking on the Listen Live button .
Good news! Without Dr. Ni-Fu Cheng’s immortality elixir (Rabbit in the Moon) average life expectancy in the US has hit another high, rising above 78 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the same time, infant mortality has hit a record low of 6.42 deaths per 1000 live births which is almost a 3 percent drop from 2008. Boys born in 2009 can expect to at least until age 75.5 while girls will live to 80.5. Reasons for this increased longevity is felt to be a result of better medical treatment, improved vaccination rates and decreases in smoking.
Read Rabbit in the Moon in hardback, eBook and Audiobook