Breathe Fire Into 2012

If you found the first few weeks of 2012 not at all to your liking, then today is your chance to start the year over. January 24th is the first day of the lunar calendar – known as Chinese New Year – the most celebrated day of the year in China.  2012 is the Year of the Dragon – promising power, prosperity and longevity.

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I read that legend has it, in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in dragon years are innovative, brave, and passionate. Salvador Dali, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra and Mary-Louise Parker were all born in the year of the dragon.

If you want to know the animal symbolizing your birth year – click here to check it out.For an insight into today’s Chinese culture, I recommend the film The Last Train Home – a superbly told story about the world’s largest human migration – and available on YouTube (There are 6 parts). Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers travel back to their home villages for this auspicious holiday. This mass exodus is an epic spectacle that exposes a nation tragically caught between its rural past and industrial future. The official Xinhua News Agency reported that during the Chinese New Year holiday period more than 3.16 billion passenger trips will be logged on the railway, the airlines, and buses. Staggering isn’t it?  So the next time you catch yourself frustrated with traffic – think about it – and give thanks for your good fortune.

May 2012 bring you the fire needed to create prosperity and peace in your life and in the world. As they say in Cantonese “Gung Hay Fat Choy!” (Happy New Year).