Year of the Rat Welcomed Around the World

February 7, 2008- Sparks of fireworks at midnight had ushered in the year of the rat in the Chinese lunar calendar. More than a billion people in China and overseas Chinese communities held large celebrations, both at home and in the streets.

New Year’s Day is a time when a person makes resolutions for the coming year. Loved ones who have journeyed in distant places return to their hometowns to be with the ones they care about the most, their families.

Even in dismal situations, people are still optimistic that they can celebrate the start of the year in peace and happiness. A returning migrant worker stucked in China’s southern province of Guangzhou, one of the provinces that had been heavily affected by the recent snow storms, said that he is very happy and thankful for the kindness and generosity displayed by the locals of Guangzhou for cheering him up, despite the harshness of winter.

In Southeast Asia, the local Chinese communities in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand shared the common New Year spirit with Mainland China by organizing various activities and events to celebrate the coming of the New Year.

Even in the west, the celebrations are as pulsating as the east. In the US, thousands of San Franciscans had gathered in Chinese New Year parades, pageants, carnival and market fairs. In the UK, Londoners will celebrate the Lunar New Year in Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Chinatown, where a grand parade would be held

The year of the rat, according to Chinese astrologers, is a period of industriousness, prosperity and rejuvenation. Orients perceive the rat as quick-witted and resourceful. It symbolizes good luck and wealth. And for China, this is true. The Year of the Rat is the Year of the Olympics.

Happy Lunar New Year to All !!


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