Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012: Year of the Black Dragon

According to the Chinese Lunar calendar, the year of the Black Water Dragon comes every 60 years.  The symbols assosiated with the lunar calendar are grouped as elements or animals.  There are five elements - metal, water, wood, fire and earth.   These rotate yearly along with the 12 animal - rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig - symbols.  So a year would be classified with an element and an animal.  This year is believed to be special because it is a dragon year.  But, this is not the only reason that it is special.  The combination of the water element and dragon animal only occurs every 60 years.  And, 2012 is one of those years. 

January 23, 2012 is the first day of the new year, according to the lunar calendar.  In western parts of the world, we count our days according to the solar calendar... or the rise and fall of the sun.  However, for centuries, Asian, Islamic and Hebrew cultures have counted their days according to the moon phases.  The new year, according to the lunar calendar, is not on the same day as western cultures. 
In Asian countries, people also associate an animal with each new year.  It is said that the events of the year and the personality of the people resemble the traits of that year's animal.  So, in the year of the dog, loyalty reigns.  In the year of the monkey, responsibility is found.  And, in the year of the Dragon, we see power and wealth. 

While I don't believe that the moon determines who we are.  If you have followed my advent calendar, then you are quite aware that I believe it is God and our choices in relation to God that determine all things.  However, at this time of year, I like to have a little fun with the characters of the calendar.  I use the fun of this season to help my angel understand that not all people believe as we do.  And, within this world of choices, we, too, may make a choice to love our creator or not.

You can expect lots of fun posts throughout the next two weeks.  These are some that I am working on:

Black Dragon Hand Puppet
Dinner with a Dragon
Korean Lunar New Year's Soup
Dragon Tales

I hope that you will join us as we play our way into the year of the Black Water Dragon!

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