The Year of the Rabbit
According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2011 is the year of the rabbit, a zodiac symbol that is equivalent to Pisces in the Western tradition. This year the festival begins on February 3rd and ends sometime on the 17th but the celebrations may continue beyond that date in some households. Some people may host special dinners on the eve of February 2nd to mark a new year of happiness and prosperity. From America to Australia, Chinese New Year is widely celebrated and has a history that can be traced back to Ancient China.
This is an exciting moment for family reunion greetings, gatherings, sharing and feasting. The holiday can also be seen outside of households; in major cities with large Chinese communities, the streets are often filled with parades of firecrackers, dancing and singing; they are illuminated by the color red which represents fortune in the Chinese culture. Depending on the parents, children might be given an unofficial day off from school; many will also receive a lucky red envelope known as "hong bao" which contains cash to ensure prosperity for the receiver and the giver (a family member or family friend who is married).
Here is a sample of upcoming programs and events throughout our libraries: