Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

While it is now 2011, it is still the year of the Tiger in China until their Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year) on February 3rd (and don’t ask me why they decided it was spring in February… I’m baffled).  At that point, it will become the year of the Rabbit (my favorite year since I was born in the year of the Rabbit).  This is because the Chinese festivals follow the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, rather than the sun calendar that the rest of the world operates on.  Though the difference in calendars creates a bit of confusion (at least for us foreigners) the Chinese have figured out how to have the best of both worlds.  They celebrate both new years!

This year, John and I will follow the Chinese by celebrating both new years.  We celebrated twice in the past twenty-four hours – once for 12:00am in China and once for 12:00am in EST (which was 1:00pm January 1st here).  Our employers also graciously gave us the day off tomorrow, so we will continue our celebration with a trip to Changsha to eat pizza, drink XingBaKe, and search for foreign bookstores.  We also plan to fully enjoy Spring Festival and the Chinese New Year in February.  The Chinese take Spring Festival very seriously, since it is their most important holiday.  They celebrate it for fifteen days!  We will join in the festivities and enjoy plenty of dumplings and spring rolls, which just so happen to be some of our favorite authentic Chinese food.  Our celebration will end by hopping on a plane home, since Spring Festival ends the day our visas expire.  All in all, this new year will be celebrated (three times)!  2010 was unexpected, but good.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2011!

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