Having just returned from Hong Kong, you’d never have guessed the year of the snake was on its way unless you were really looking for snakes.
Last year was the year of the dragon, and we saw dragons everywhere: posters, displays, cakes, cookies, jewellery, t-shirts. This year, nothing. Aside from a few posters and a few retail window displays here and there, you’d never know the lunar new year was a week away.
Some of the shopping malls created huge, elaborate panda displays that were always crowded with people jostling to have their photos taken with the pandas. I’m told that having your photo taken with a panda brings one peace and good fortune in the coming year.
I asked a Chinese friend of mine where all the snakes were and she didn’t really have an explanation other than it was still rather early to start the festivities. I noticed she had shifty eyes when she said this. Hmm. I sensed a snake denial conspiracy. During the week, Hubby and I heard the same songs over and over again piped in to some of the shops, probably the Chinese equivalent to Frosty the Snowman, a sure sign that the season was in full swing.
As it turns out, the Year of the Snake has not had a good rap in the past. The 9/11 attacks in the United States in 2001, The Great Depression (1929) and in 1989, the Tiananmen Square horror all took place in the year of the Snake.
Luckily 2013 is a water snake year and the others were not.
According to my handy Chinese Astrology book for 2013, water snake years are supposed to be good for “occupying one’s self with physical appearances, mending faulty communications and beginning hot, new romances.” Sounds quite promising!
If you’re a rooster, dog, or an ox, you’re in for a good year. If you’re a horse, monkey, rat, rabbit, or dragon, your year will be an average one. If you’re a pig, goat, tiger, or a snake, you’re in for a rough year. Here’s a link to figure out which sign you are. Since I’m a pig, I’m preparing for the worst. Luckily, Hubby is a dog.
Personally, I enjoy celebrating the Lunar New Year no matter what the symbolism.