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Thursday, January 22, 2004

Happy (Lunar) New Year! 

新年好! xin1nian2 hao3! 恭喜發財! gung1 hei2 faat3 choi4!

In the D.C. area, the new moon appeared at 4:17 p.m. yesterday afternoon, marking the start of the Year of the Monkey, specifically the year of the male green wooden monkey.

It looks like this coming weekend is the day to mark the new year in D.C.'s Chinatown. I don't think we have any plans yet, so maybe I can talk Evelin into going to watch the lion dance.

The South China Morning Post's New Year special section outlining holiday events in Hong Kong, as well as providing a bit of perspective on what the traditions/customs for the celebrations are, and Myth*ingLinks has a pretty full run down of links to and information from various lunar new year sites from across Asia.

"Morning Edition" had an interesting segment by Michael Sullivan about Tết celebrations in Vietnam, including a lot about the importance of kumquat trees to the celebrations. For more coverage of Tết Giáp Thân celebrations, Đài Tiếng nói Việt Nam (Radio Voice of Vietman) has a special Tết section on its "Xã hội" page (and here's the link to the English-language version).

In Korea, the new year -- 설날 sŏl-nal -- is a time to head home to visit family, which (as does Thanksgiving in the U.S.) leads to massive traffic jams.

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