Feb 14, 2010, The Lunar New Year of the White Tiger

Losar, Tibetan Lunar New Year,
 and Chinese Lunar New Year begin on the new moon, and are  joyous, 15 day celebrations of happiness, good fortune, and a time to make offerings and prayers to your favorite temple or holy place, as well as participating in  festive family reunions. Preparation for the new year involves cleaning the home with special attention on the kitchen, insuring we have no outstanding debts, decorating with Plum blossoms, water narcissus (or other fresh flowers), displaying auspicious symbols, and most importantly, letting go of the past. During the 2 week period, gentleness, kind words, and peace should prevail, this will insure the same throughout the year. The Lantern Festival on the 15th day welcomes the first full moon of the year with Dragon and Lion dances, and is the most celebratory day of the 15.

Family and friends come together sharing gifts, company, and indulging in foods delicious, and highly symbolic. Noodles symbolize longevity (but don't cut them!), oranges symbolize wealth, tangerines are for luck, and a chinese new year menu is not complete without a whole fish, symbolizing family unity, abundance and prosperity. 

On February 14, 2010 the Chinese, and Tibetan New Year exit the slow moving Year of Earth Ox, and welcome the Year of White, Iron Tiger.  The 14th of February is auspicious, and celebrated here in the West as Saint Valentines day, and originally the very wild, ancient Roman holiday, Lupercalia.  
Saint Valentine's influence encourages us to focus on a peaceful, forgiving heart, and let fierce compassion, and a brave and intelligent love guide us in 2010. Tiger years, the last one was 1999,  are known for drama, passion, spontaneous experiences, intensity, sudden surprise, unexpected events, rapid change, travel, and overall excitement. 

This also marks the sixty year return of the Iron Tiger year 1950, the year the Korean war began, and the year China began its "peaceful liberation" of Tibet, aka, invasion.  Iron armors and hardens the Tiger, making these years  notorious for disaster, surprise attacks, turmoil, wars and conflict, and can see ruthlessness on outer, inner, and secret levels. Loss of temper, and the destructive qualities of anger are multiplied, and are particularly dangerous, and potentially devastating in Iron Tiger years, both for individuals, and groups or Countries as a whole, who succumb to the sudden, and seductive forces of anger...

Dalai Lama on Peace, compassion and Happiness...

Om mani padme hum Om mani padme hum Om mani padme hum Om mani padme hum Om mani padme hum Om mani padme hum Om mani padme hum

image 1: Taktshang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery in Bhutan
thank you moon rat!

image 2: Los Angeles Shambhala Center


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