Why Are Dragon Dances Performed At New Year latest 2023

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Wood Horse Year 2014-15 and China’s Lunar ‘Yutu’

“Yutu” means “jade rabbit” and both elements of this composite symbol must be appreciated to understand its meaning.

The rabbit

Looking at the full moon, the Chinese see a rabbit on the surface of the moon, standing under a Cassia tree, holding the elixir of life. The Rabbit symbolizes fertility and longevity (their reproduction rates guarantee this). It is the 4th sign of the Chinese zodiac and considered the luckiest of the 12.

Jade

The Jade Emperor of Heaven (Buddha Ru-Li to Chan Buddhists) carries a Jade Staff representing intensive cultivation, Mineral Jade and Jade ornaments are especially valued for having such associations and their connection to the Element Wood (the only Living Element of the 5) in particular.

The involvement of the moon goddess, Chang E, in such endeavors has long been evident to the Chinese. The choice of the name ‘Jade Rabbit’ is particularly auspicious, embodying happy associations of Heaven and Earth

Lucky 13 and the Lunar Festival (begins January 31, 2014)

The Chinese (and I, I might add) consider 13 a lucky number because it takes a 13th month to start the new year. The 13 lunar months provide the start date for the “growing” new year with the appearance of the first crescent moon of the new sequence on 1/31/14 and the ensuing lunar festival celebrating the start of the year of the wooden horse.

That’s when the “Chinatowns” of western cities begin to resonate to the rhythms of the lion and dragon dance and the excitement really begins. With the PRC kindly setting up their Jade Bunny just in time for this year’s celebrations, these should be beautiful indeed.

The moment

It is currently the year 2013-14 of the Water Serpent. The serpent in China (unlike the wicked biblical serpent of dreary Western stereotypes), the 6th sign of the Chinese zodiac, is also considered lucky (and elegant). Here we have two good luck symbols, the Rabbit and the Snake coinciding.

Chinese science

Chinese science embodies the study of Qi, its nature and flow, which is also integral to Chinese medicine, philosophy, architecture, Kung Fu health exercise and much more. Western science denounces such beliefs and appears more indifferent and barren in comparison and less in touch with the universe as a whole. The landing, operation and timing of their Moon expedition seem most fortuitous to China and Chinese science.

Wooden Horse Year 2014-15

The endlessly repeating cycle of 12 animal years (the original zodiac) of China is continuously accompanied by a parallel cycle of 10 repetitive elemental years. 5 elements: earth, metal, water, wood and fire each repeat for 2 years at a time in Yang then Yin modes.

The 2014-15 Year of the Yang Wooden Horse will be followed in due course by the 2015-16 Year of the Yin Wooden Goat. Yang/big wood incorporates forests and trees Yin/small woody plants and grasses.

Wood, the only living element of the 5, also symbolizes money and wealth and is linked, via the 5 Feng Shui elements, to the SE sector of homes. The beautiful horse is linked to power and stability.

Globally

The Chinese believe that living in harmony with the universe and the flow of universal energies leads to increased health, happiness, and longevity (and even the means to enjoy them). The study of Kung Fu, Qigong and Chinese Feng Shui (especially the varieties of the 5 elements) are excellent ways to establish an understanding of these processes and set them in motion.

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