Friday, February 08, 2008
Happy New Year!
It's a grand ol' place that can celebrate New Year's Day not once, not twice, but four times a year. We usually have our New Year's party on "Old New Year" (celebrated in Kazakhstan on January 14, on the Russian Orthodox calendar), and yesterday marked the beginning of year 4706 in Chinese astrological reckoning (though the symbols are a bigger deal in KZ than the date). You may know 2008 to be the "Year of the Rat," but thanks to a link this time last year from Sean Roberts, I am happy to say that from February 7 through January 25, 2009, we're in the "Year of the Earth Rat!" Each of the twelve animals of the zodiac is associated with 5 different elements, so a complete Chinese astrological cycle comes 'round every 60 years.
In our house, we have a Fire Rat, a Water Tiger and a Fire Ox. Based on birth year, we used to think that a friend was also a Tiger, but his early February birthday made him a Chinese Ox instead.
So far in 2008, we've missed 3 opportunities to throw the annual New Year's party. Luckily, there's one more New Year's to go -- this time, we're aiming for Nauryz (Persian-Zoroastrian? New Year/Spring Equinox) in March.