Monday, February 18, 2013

Chinese New Year

I know, this is a week late. I've been busy, and also this past week has been pretty full of things to note here, with the news about the Pope and then a series of holidays with more or less connection to religious themes. A week ago yesterday was Chinese New Year, and first I need to note that this is not a religious holiday. Instead it is a cultural holiday, but Buddhist, Taoist and folk religious traditions have been tied in to this day over the years. For instance, household altars are cleaned and redecorated for the new year. Taoists will burn an effigy of the kitchen god so that he can go to the Jade Emperor to report on the family in the previous year. Buddhists will refrain from eating meat on certain days around this celebration. The Chinese zodiac is a fold tradition, but also gets tied to religious stories, for instance with Buddha picking the twelve animals. This year is the year of the snake, and LEGO celebrated by producing a limited release an official set. This set seems to be only available in Asia.

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