July 14, 2024

It’s the year of the metal rat. According to Chinese astrology, if one is born in the years 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, and 2008, one will be lucky in 2020. The rat represents diligence, kindness, and generosity, qualities I believe that describes my husband, my sons and their wives, and my daughter, even if only one was born in the year of the rat. That’s a mother expressing her feelings. Wishing everyone a very lucky year 2020. Kung Hei Fat Choy!
My research also said that people born in the year of the rat like to save and collect: “They seldom experience financial hardships and are organized. If you received a valuable gift from a Rat, that means he or she thinks highly of you. Rats also don’t look for praise and recognition. They are sensitive and know when there is trouble. When they do take risks, they’re usually successful.”
The Baguio Filipino-Chinese Community and the city government of Baguio launched the Spring Festival 2020 last Monday and this year is the 27th celebration. Chinese New Year is from Jan. 25 to Feb. 8.
Peter Ng, chairperson of the Spring Festival 2020, led the event’s launching. It was during said occassion where he expressed his gratitude for the continuing partnership of the Filipino-Chinese community and the city government, a feeling acknowledged by the father of the city, Benjie Magalong, and Rep. Mark Go.
Chinese New Year celebrations are often celebrated with the lion dance. The belief is that the lion image drives the evil spirits away. On the other hand, “the dragon is in charge of rain, hence, dragon dancing is praying for appropriate rain to grow more crops and also because it is a symbol that can bring people luck.”
The origins of the celebration, again according to research, began with the monster Nian who terrorized villages and ate everything from mosquitoes to human beings. The people fathomed that the monster only came every 365 days to wreak havoc and then disappeared again into the forests. Hence, they would prepare a feast to ask for the protection of their ancestors. A youth came up with the idea to scare the monster permanently with firecrackers. Thus began the legend of the origin of the celebration of Chinese New Year, mainly to scare the monster Nian. The holiday decorations are also in bright and loud red. The Chinese in general believe that the color represents happiness and good fortune.
The Spring Festival is a time of change and new beginnings. The activity aims to remove the old and to welcome the new. Forget about the misfortunes and be ready for good luck. New clothes they say, can protect you from evil spirits, and tikoy is for luck to stick with you.
Last Jan. 17, the Baguio City National High School headed by principal Brenda Cariño opened an institutional exhibit called, “ATM: Tales of our city (Retold by the youth)” at the Baguio Museum. The Special Program in the Arts as usual gave a superb presentation of their talents. ATM means “at the moment,” the youth’s expression of what is happening in this era. It was an art exhibit that featured the works of SPA’s visual, literary, and media arts and their mentors. Support local aspiring artists.
Kung Hei Fat Choy to everyone! Lots of good luck, good health and prosperity to all.