Monday, March 2, 2015

Year of the Sheep...

Last weekend we spent a beautiful, sunny winter day celebrating Chinese New Year in Seattle's Chinatown for the first time. In the year's past, it seemed CNY always fell in the midst of wrestling season, so we never had the opportunity to participate.  We were not disappointed that we made it happen this year.

We ate delicious food on the $2 food walk throughout the neighborhood. Our favorites were the dimsun at where else, the Dim Sum King, the Wonton Soup (we watched the wontons being wrapped) at Canton Wonton House, which soothed all of our sore throats, and the Mango Curry with Deep Fried Tofu at Topics Thai food.  Let's just say we didn't leave hungry.

As we watched the performances on the stage, little did we know that we were standing in the midst of the pathway of dragons and lions. We had to part the path like the Red Sea to let them go by! I missed the photo of the cute Seahawk themed Lion, worn by young children, and due to the fact that I cluelessly videoed the dancers and firecrackers sideways on my phone, this is the only decent photo worth showing...
What had not even donned on us before the festival was that Jaelyn was born the year of the sheep in Chinese culture, which undergoes a 12-year cycle until a person reaches his or her Zodiac Year of Birth, which is known as本命年 (Běnmìngnián). We hadn't put it together that this was Jaelyn's year, because on the Gregorian calendar she was born in 2004, but since she has a January birthday, the starting day of the CNY fluctuates, depending on the lunar calendar. So her Chinese zodiac sign falls back a year to 2003. In general, Chinese people are quite superstitious, so that they avoid a year of extremely bad luck for their Běnmìngnián, they wear something red all year long (something that was gifted to them). Red is a sign of prosperity, courage, and brings good luck, which is supposed to thwart off the bad luck. It can be clothing, or very often a piece of jewelry.  

Of course, we don't believe or endorse the Chinese Zodiac and the culture's many superstitions. Thankfully Jaelyn has a joy and courage that comes from Jesus Christ being the center of her life! Just wanted to give a little history lesson for her to understand her culture, and for the few of you who stumbled upon actually follow my blog. 

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