Red is for luck
Red is a favourite colour and it’s one of the reasons I like Chinese New Year celebrations although I’m not Chinese. It’s the colour of the season; facades and lobbies of hotels, buildings, malls and offices are flooded with red paper lanterns, cut-outs, firework swirls and hanging swirls to usher in new luck as the old zodiac king leaves the throne. The hóng bāo (envelopes for money), naturally, are colour red. Traditional Chinese New Year attire like the qipao, or cheongsam, which is a high neck long straight dress worn by women, is generally in red. There’s also that gelatinous cake – tikoy in Filipino, kweh mangkok in Bahasa Indonesia and ngian gao in Chinese – that I receive every now and then, and I got mine for this year a day ago. Let’s not forget the round fruits that symbolize and herald prosperity – tangerine, mandarin oranges etc – which are smooth on the palate and good on the psyche.
The mighty dragon, I imagine, is counting the days of its reign as its successor makes its way to the throne and rule for a year. Chinese astrologers, without a doubt, are taking centre stage and predicting how the rule of the new king will prevail as, interestingly enough, believers and ilk hang on to their every word. I’m an Earth Rooster and piqued at how the dictates of the serpent king will shape my year considering I’m not particularly fond of the sly slithering slick creature. My luck, in tip-top shape eight years ago, had been buffeted by hurricanes and storms long enough.
Perusing Yahoo.com’s astrology forecasts with my tongue in my cheek mixed in with a positive vibe, I take a glimpse into my year’s fortunes. My Rooster Overview begins on a positive note because, despite my dislike of the sly slithering slick monarch, we are compatible. “This translates into 11 favorable, one neutral and no unfavorable months this year. It’s time to play big. Get your career moving. Make some money. Turn up the heat in your love life. Travel. Go to school. It doesn’t really matter what you do — just do it,” explained the website’s resident master Chinese astrologer.
The hong bao tree spruces up the basement of Hotel Mulia
The snake king has made its presence felt at The Chocolate Boutique, Hotel Mulia
The Chinese astrologer was getting on my good side. On the career plane, I’ve got my plate full of enjoyable challenges although there are days that I just want to scream out of frustration and annoyance. But there are a few good students who still possess the verve and discipline for learning which make it all worthwhile. As long as I don’t lost focus and my determination and diligence, I can cruise easy in the year of the Snake.
Pacific Place gets into the Chinese New Year Spirit
The view of the dragon and the phoenix is impressive as you go up the escalator
I am thrilled with the phrase “no unfavourable months” – who isn’t? I don’t have to endure major mishaps although I am bracing myself for folly of others. Perhaps re-learning the art of patience and tolerance can finally be a virtue this year for me.
On love, the astrologer’s words on Rooster love were not without merit: “Love can set you free just as much as it can hold you down. It’s up to you to decide. Find a new love or turn the one you have into heavenly bliss. Also, it does not hurt to strut your stuff a little. You have no problem drawing a little attention to yourself.” I heard you master Chinese astrologer loud and clear. Forget about the past and find a new love. *wink, wink*
Fried with egg or steamed – you can’t enough of the kwek mangkok
Rooster health, on the other hand, under the reign of the snake is all about taking care of myself, which means paying attention to what I eat (think healthy diet). It also means exercising regularly. I’ve taken up badminton recently and I’m raring to go back to the court after being sidelined by colds.
Gong Xi Fa Cai from Plaza Senayan
Who would have thought my least favourite animal would make the most compatible companion? It caught me by surprise but it is certainly good to hear that me, the rooster in me will finally get along with the new animal king.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Selamat Hari Raya Imlek!
Photography by Rico Falcunitin