Big welcome as horse reigns for year
LYN HUMPHREYS LYN.HUMPHREYS@DAILYNEWS.CO.NZ
Expect to ride fast and furious into the Chinese year of the horse.
In New Plymouth yesterday, nearly 200 Chinese families and friends gathered to welcome in the beginning of the lunar new year.
For those that dabble in astrology, this year is the year of the wood horse, one of the 12-year cycle of animals making up the Chinese zodiac.
According to tradition, these interact with the five elements: wood, metal, fire, water, earth.
According to some Chinese astrologers it will be a fast year full of conflicts. The later part of the year is "yin fire", increasing the potential for heated clashes.
At the luncheon at New Plymouth's Sun World restaurant, the traditionally colourful Lion Dance to welcome the year of the horse was accompanied by loud drumming.
A lettuce hung from the roof for the "lion" symbolised prosperity, Chinese community spokeswoman Betty Leung explained.
The lion then spreads the leaves of the lettuce and its associated prosperity into the crowd so that everyone present can share in the good fortune, Mrs Leung said.
The loud drumming wards off the bad spirits from last year which might still be present.
Joining in the celebrations - in what is also an general election year - were Chinese MP Jian Yang, a National list MP from Auckland , New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young and New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd.
Mrs Leung said this year it was predicted that those born in the years of the monkey, pig, rooster and dog would have a good year because they get on well with the horse.
However, it's head for the hills time for the horse, rabbit, bull and rat.
Taking it easy are the dragon, snake and tiger, predicted to have a mediocre year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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