Saturday, February 1, 2014

Of New Year's

i love love colors!

Lucky Chinatown Mall. Photo by Alan David

The New Year is my favorite holiday. It's the holiday of lists, promises to self, the holiday of faith and of hope. It's the holiday when our dreams are at their noisiest and our eagerness to achieve them the most intense. In the 365 days we have in a year, I celebrate three New Year Days. Yes, three. I am kind to myself that way. 

First, is of course, the January 1 holiday, when I celebrate with the rest of the world. My mother who runs a grocery stocked more cream breads in her store for sale in preparation for the New Year's eve celebration (Media Noche) than she did for Christmas' Noche Buena. She said that Christmas is more of a religious tradition and our little barrio, being a healthy melting pot of INC's, Seventh Day Adventists and Catholics, is a little selective in celebrating the birth of Jesus. The demand for cream breads is the highest though on New Year's day. These three religious groups join the rest of the world in collective celebration of the birth of another year. I have never really appreciated the law of supply and demand until this observation from my mom-preneur. She deserves a faculty slot in the School of Economics. Haha!

Second is Chinese New Year. While I am obviously not Chinese (really big eyes, hello, haha!), our culture is heavily influenced by them. Plus, Chinese lanterns are so pretty (see picture above)! And Yang Chao fried rice is so kanin-pa-lang-ulam-na satisfying! And did you know that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure that can be seen from the moon according to my really good friends from NASA??!! Haha! I wish I have given more attention to my Sibika at Kultura class in school so I can drop cool cultural (or COOLtural, how's that for a word?? :)) tidbits here. More than the hype in aligning water and earth elements, feng shui talks on fortune and love and the lollipop-chasing dragon, the real reason I love Chinese New Year is that it is another excuse for a New Year for a non-Chinese like me (I apologize for being shallow). For me, it is like getting a vaccine for, say, measles. You do not stop at the first vaccination, you still need (or advised) to get a booster. The CNY is my booster. It's the universe's way of saying, "you do not have any excuse to slump, I am giving you a second round of clean slate-ness, only this time with dragon dance and tikoy!".

Third is my birthday. This is the most personal New Year of all. This time, you are not celebrating WITH the rest of the world but instead the rest of the world is celebrating FOR you. It does not hurt that out of the 365 days in a year, there is one dedicated for the spotlight on the self. I am an advocate of self love, the YOUniverse. The words of my lola when I was a little girl never left me, you cannot give what you do not have. One has to be complete and whole before one can effectively reach out to others.

Happy New Year!

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