Lion dancers at Historic Chinatown Gate, Chinese New Year, Hing Hay Park, Seattle, Washington (February 3, 2011)
Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year’s Day itself, the first day of the first month of theChinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year“.
The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Hong Kong,Macau, Taiwan, Singapore,Thailand,Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius,Philippines, and also inChinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors [Wikipedia]
The myth most associated with him is that he is a baby at the beginning of his year, but Baby New Year quickly ages until he is elderly (like Father Time, whom he is often associated with) at the end of his year. Some stories will have him bear a strong likeness to key events in his time. At this point, he hands over his duties to the next Baby New Year, while he remains in this state and retires.
The stereotypical representation of Baby New Year is as a male infant wearing nothing more than adiaper, a top hat and a sash across his torso that shows the year he is representing (e.g. 2012). He is sometimes depicted holding or associated with an hourglass, a noisemaker, or other item either pertaining to time or New Year’s Day festivities. Often, he is not a complete newbornbut is slightly older, because he is frequently shown standing on his own, barely walking, or having a small amount of head hair.
In addition to being a mythical figure, the Baby New Year is sometimes a real person. The first baby born in any village or city in a certain year may be honored by being labeled as the official Baby New Year for that year. The official Baby New Year can be male or female, even though the mythical Baby New Year is nearly always male. Attempts to name an official Baby New Year for an entire country have sometimes been made, but generally there are multiple contenders and no single Baby New Year can be confirmed. [WIKIPEDIA]
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NBC EVENING NEWS – LATEST ON FISCAL CLIFF 12-17-12
House Republican leadership considers a new proposal from the White House to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff “a small step in the right direction” but aides say that “there are still substantive issues that are unresolved.”
The lack of an outright rejection of the White House’s most recent proposal is noteworthy, hinting that both sides may be willing to come to an agreement with just 13 days until the New Year.
The reaction comes after the White House proposed Monday what they call a $2.4 trillion dollar deficit reduction package, including $1.2 trillion in new revenues and $1.22 trillion in spending reductions.
Included in the revenue increases is the expiration of the Bush-era tax rates for incomes of $400,000 and more, marking the first time the White House has moved on their stance of raising rates on incomes of $250,000 and more. The $1.2 trillion in increased revenue is also down from the $1.4 trillion in new revenues the White House included in their last proposal. FULL ARTICLE