So, here we are in the year of the rabbit…

Feb 2, 2023 | 0 comments

 

In the years that I lived in the Bay Area — from 1941 when I was five until 1978 when I moved to Oysterville — Chinese New Year was always an important occasion.  In the early years, we would sometimes go into San Francisco’s Chinatown for the big New Year’s parade but later — when we had television — we could watch the highlights without the hassle of the crowds.  Still… it was a Big Deal.

Now… not so much, though if I remember (which is seldom), I call my friends, the Quans’ in Fresno and wish them Good Luck in the New Year.  This year, of course, the Monterey Park mass shooting on the eve of the Lunar New Year erased our thoughts of celebration entirely.  What a world we live in, these days!  Scary doesn’t half describe it.  (And if you haven’t yet read Cate Gable’s column, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”  in yesterday’s Chinook Observer, I suggest that you do so.  You can find it online by Googling:  Am I My Brother’s Keeper Chinook Observer.)

So, I’ve just gotten ’round to finding out a little more about this Lunar New Year — the Year of the Rabbit.  In the Chinese tradition, the Rabbit is the fourth of all zodiac animals. According to the online site, ChineseNewYear.net:
Legend has it the Rabbit was proud—arrogant even — of its speed. He was neighbors with Ox and always made fun of how slow Ox was. One day, the Jade Emperor said the zodiac order would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived at his party. Rabbit set off at daybreak. But when he got there, no other animals were in sight. Thinking that he would obviously be first, he went off to the side and napped. However, when he woke up, three other animals had already arrived. One of them was the Ox he had always looked down upon.
The story is so reminiscent of Aesop’s Fable of the tortoise and the hare that I can’t help but wonder how they might be connected.

In any case, in Chinese culture, rabbits represent the moon. Some say it is because the shadows of the moon resemble a rabbit. Others say it is because of the rabbit’s pure characteristics.  To outsiders, the Rabbit’s kindness may make them seem soft and weak. In truth, the Rabbit’s quiet personality hides their confidence and strength. They are steadily moving towards their goal, no matter what negativity the others give them.  With their good reasoning skills and attention to detail, they make great scholars. They are socializers with an attractive aura. However, they find it hard to open up to others and often turn to escapism.  A plain and routine life is not their style. Though conservative and careful in their actions, they need surprises every so often to spice things up.

In general (depending upon date ranges) those born in 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2011 were born in the Year of the Rabbit.

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