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2009-2010 Edition

YEAR OF THE OX

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Gung Hei Fat Choy
From
Bill and Sue-On Hillman
Bill Hillman ~ Sensei Shintani ~ Sue-On Hillman
The Hillmans pose with Sensei Shintani
~ Head of Wado Kai Karate for North America ~
Following their Shodan Black Belt presentations
ASIAN MARTIAL ARTS PAGE
www.hillmanweb.com/karate.html
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Year of the Ox
Chinese New Year

January 26, 2009
marks the beginning of the
Year of the Ox
and
Year 4707 
of the Chinese Calendar
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CELEBRATE WITH US
Join us in celebration at this year's 
Lieutenant Governer's WinterFest
The WestMan Chinese Association 
is hosting
THE CHINESE PAVILION 

at Brandon's Town Centre
February 5 - 7, 2009
See the itinerary and photos of this gala event at:
BUCSSA
NEW YEAR 2009
CELEBRATION

WMC Auditorium
February 1, 2009
Friday - 6:00 pm
Food - Performances
Games - Draws
www.westmanchinese.com
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Sue-On Hillman
VISIT
SUE-ON'S 
ASIAN FOOD 
ODYSSEY
www.hillmanweb.com/soos
Sue-On's 7-Day Food Weblog Adventure
Making Sesame Balls For Chinese New Year
Making Lobak Goh Chinese New Year Turnip Cake
Making Joongzi Sticky Rice in Bamboo Leaves
Making Joongzi: Pictorial with Students
Sue-On's Seafood Birthday Feast

CHOY FAMILY HISTORY
Pictorial


HILLMAN SOO'S ARCHIVE & VIRTUAL TOUR SERIES
presents
GOLD MOUNTAIN ON THE PRAIRIES

featuring Karen Tam's Chinese Restaurant Exhibit
at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba
www.hillmanweb.com/tam

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Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. 

Almost universally, the ox is a benevolent symbol. Throughout East Asia, however, oxen are venerated as one of mankind's most valuable helpers.

For example, in China, it is an ox (or water buffalo) that Lao Tzu (the Chinese philosopher credited with writing the Tao Te Ching) rode on his journey to the western borders. In Buddhist thought, the ox became a symbol of the mastery of human nature and of contemplative learning. Throughout the Orient, where it was the power that could pull plows and aid in agriculture, it was also a symbol of quiet, even tranquil, strength and kindness.

In the Chinese zodiac, people who are born in the Year of the Ox are considered as calm and dependable as their animal symbol. Not only are they modest but they are able to bear nearly any amount of hardship without complaint. Logical and systematic to the point of having little imagination, an ox person with their mind made up is rarely dissuaded from their decision. Because of their honesty and patience, these people are always welcome and typically have many friends who appreciate their quiet but relaxed sociability.



The Ox or the Buffalo sign symbolizes prosperity through fortitude and hard work. A person born during this year will be dependable, calm and methodical. A patient and tireless worker, he sticks to routine and conventions. Although he is generally fair-minded and a good listener, it is difficult to make him change his views as he is stubborn and often has strong prejudices. Still, because of his steady and trustworthy character, the Ox person will be entrusted with positions of authority and responsibility. He will not fall short where duty calls. As a matter of fact, he should be careful not to get carried away.
Ox year is a time of hard work, duty, and discipline. Like an Ox plowing the fields, we must contribute during an Ox year. This is not a time for laziness. Success is attained through diligent labor and conscientious effort. Begin by putting your affairs in order, especially your home. Stick to tried-and-true methods, careful actions, and routine behavior. Wild new concepts will not be well received; save them for the following Tiger year 2010.
People born in the Year of the Ox are considered most compatible with people born in the Year of the Rooster or Snake while they are least compatible with those born in the Year of the Goat.


Famous Ox People
Barak Obama, Johann Sebastian Bach, Shirley Bassey, Kate Beckinsale, Napoleon Bonaparte, Charlie Chaplin, George Clooney, Bill Cosby, Oscar De La Hoya, Walt Disney, Moctesuma Esparza, Jane Fonda, Clark Gable, Jorge Garcia, Nomar Garciaparra, Richard Gere, Whoopi Goldberg, George Frideric Handel, Adolph Hitler, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins, Rock Hudson, Saddam Hussien, Keira Knightley, Kate Moss, Eddie Murphy, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Richard Nixon, Princess Diana, Robert Redford, Meg Ryan, Peter Sellers, Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, Margaret Thatcher, Vincent Van Gogh.Sigourney Weaver, Anton Dvorak

Years of the Ox
1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

RECOMMENDED SITES TO VISIT
TO CONTINUE YOUR CELEBRATION OF
THE YEAR OF THE OX
The Art of Chinese Calligraphy
Lunar New Year in Taiwan
Taboos and Superstitions of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year Decorations
Traditional New Year Foods
Year of the Ox and Feng Shui
Chinese New Year Prints and Chubby Baby Posters
Chinese Propaganda Posters



CHINESE NEW YEAR DATES
Visit our previous New Year Pages:
Year of the Pig: 2007
Year of the Rat: 2008

Year of the Ox ~ January 26, 2009

Chinese Horoscope Signs & Their Corresponding Years

RAT OX TIGER RABBIT DRAGON SNAKE HORSE SHEEP MONKEY ROOSTER DOG BOAR
1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911
1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935
1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947
1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971
1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983
1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
                                                                                                                                                                                               Reference


CHARACTERISTICS

 

The OX is quiet, steadfast, methodical and can tolerate difficulties. Ox people are hard working and down to earth. They are exceptionally clever and creative with their hands. In business, the ox often brings prosperity, not through entrepreneurial imagination and risk, but as a result of logical thought, resolute practicality, and honest endurance. Ox people should seek their fortune as a surgeon, dentist, architect, tailor, or technician.
Ideal Partner:  Rat, Rooster, or Snake
Ox years: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
The TIGER is a born leader, fiercely competitive, and never afraid to fight. Tigers often get into difficult and hazardous situations because they live dangerously. Narrow-mindedness and suspiciousness are their greatest faults. Their careers exemplifies them as deep thinkers and careful planners. Tigers are likely to succeed in sales, personnel management. They can be a good military leader, supervisors, teachers, firemen, or police officers.

Ideal Partner:  Horse, Dragon, or Dog
Tiger Years: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
RABBIT  people are happy, gifted, refined and ambitious. They also know how to draw others' attention and are great mixers in any social gatherings. The typical Rabbit will be submissive, even humble, in a constant effort to avoid confrontations. Rabbit is an excellent judge of character, with an instinct for recognizing sincerity in others and an almost uncanny ability for sensing falsehood. Hare people make wonderful receptionists, publicists, stockbrokers, and pharmacists.

Ideal Partner: Ram, Dog, Boar
Rabbit years: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
The DRAGON symbolizes life, growth, and brings blessings of longevity, virtue and harmony. Dragon people are born extroverts, their opinions and ideas are worth listening to since their advice is usually the best. Elegant and with a good eye for spotting the latest trends, Dragon people are always to the forefront of the fashion scene. Blessed with rich imagination, the Dragon always comes up with exotic ideas for new ventures. a Dragon should choose a career as artist, doctor, or architect.

Ideal Partner:  Rat, Monkey, Rooster
Dragon years: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
Those born under the sign of the SNAKE are romantic, passionate, charming and well informed. Snakes are intellectuals, philosophers, and deep thinkers. They strive to succeed in all that they do. The are extremely self-critical. Snake personalities often make their way to the top. They ensure that they are in the right place at the right time, which means when the right people are there as well. Snake people should seek their fortunes  as professors, writers, philosophers, or psychiatrists.

Ideal Partner:  Dragon, Dog
Snake years: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
HORSE year people are popular and hard workers. They have financially sound minds and are adept at handling money matters. Whether male or female, Horse personalities feel more comfortable in the company of their own kind. They are independent and self-willed individuals who never take advice. Horse people should choose a field as a dentist, financier, banker, or politician.

Ideal Partner:  Tiger, Ram
Horse years: 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

RAM people are elegant, charming, generous, wise and gentle. They are also pessimists, hesitant, and over-anxious worriers. Uncertainty causes the Ram people to seek guidance from others while their timidity prevents them from becoming great leaders. They are deeply religious and highly talented in the fields of art and music. Ram people should be good in the professions of gardening, actor, artist, entertainer, musician, or photography.
Ideal Partner: Boar, Horse
Ram Years: 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003
The MONKEYS are mischievous, vain, and clever. Their most prized traits are originality, creativity, and education. People adore Monkeys for their wit, high intelligence, and interest in world affairs. Older and wiser Monkeys are able to channel their energetic and rich imaginations into the solving of complex problems. Monkeys people can succeed in professions such as business, trade, law, stocks, industry and politics.

Ideal Partner: Dragon, Rat
Monkey Years: 1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
The ROOSTERS people are industrious, diligent, and devoted to work. They love to travel because of their courageous and adventurous spirit. They are deep thinkers, but can often be eccentric. They are not at all shy and prone to exaggerate and boast on all matters. Rooster people make good travel and public relation agents, dentists surgeons, cooks, or beauticians.

Ideal Partner: Ox, Snake
Rooster Years: 1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005
People born in the year of the DOG are honest, loyal, and have a deep sense of duty. Their intelligence and industrious nature make them good leaders in the business world. The Dog people are usually steady workers, they can easily become both trusted and valued members of any community. Those people born in Dog years would make a superior industry leader, priest, educator, doctor, writer, or scientist.

Ideal Partner: Horse, Tiger
Dog Years: 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006
By nature, BOARS are peace-loving, trustful, honest, and sincers. People born in the year of the Boar will be lucky and successful in handling money, business and academic matters. They have a deep desire for knowledge and are generally well informed. Boars are the finishers, they are the ones who put the last necessary touches to a project. Boars are suited to be doctors, bankers, businessmen, scientists and entertainers.

Ideal Partner: Rabbit, Ram
Boar Years: 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007
People born in the year of the RAT are blessed with great personal charm. The Rat is adaptable, aggressive, and creative. Rat people are hard working, thrifty, and can save a lot of money. They are elegant by nature and strive for the better things in life. Bright and gregarious, rat's intellectual versatility is not always immediately recognized. Rat people make good business people, accountants, and bankers. 

Ideal Partner:  Dragon and Monkey
Rat Years: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 
                                                                                                                                                          .                                                                                                   Reference

CELEBRATION
 
Chinese New Year (Nian) lasts two or three days, but the New Year season extends from the middle of the previous year's 12th month to the middle of the 1st month of the new year. It is a holiday celebrated by Chinese the world over.

In preparation, the house is given a thorough cleaning-- a sweeping away of any misfortune or bad luck during the year departing to make way for the incoming good luck and good fortune that will surely arrive during the new year. Doors and windows are given new coats of paint, and paper cutouts with the themes of 'happiness,' 'wealth' and 'longevity' are used as decoration around the home. Special flowers and fruits are also often used as symbolic decorations for prosperity and good fortune. Peach blossoms are said to bring long life; good fortune is represented by the kumquat's golden fruits. Offerings of food may also be left at the altar of ancestors.

New Years' Eve is carefully observed, with all members of a family dining together. Supper is a joyous feast, with jiaozi served-- dumplings boiled in water. (The word literally means 'sleep together and have sons,' a traditional good wish greeting for a family.) Fish is also traditionally served (the Chinese character for fish sounds the same as that for 'abundance'.) There is also served a vegetarian dish with a special seaweed called fat choi, a word similar in sound to that for prosperity. Noodles accent the wish for long life.

Every light in the house is supposed to stay lit for the whole night. At midnight, the sky erupts in a colorful display of fireworks and firecrackers. The New Year has arrived!

Early in the morning, after sunrise, the children receive their hong bao (red packets, often containing money) from their parents. Then the family visits door-to-door to exchange New Years greetings-- first to relatives, then to neighbors. In some Chinese neighborhoods, mandarin oranges are also exchanged as offerings of good will and good fortune.

The New Year is a time of reconciliation. Old grudges are set aside, and the atmosphere is marked by warmth and friendliness. The visits continue for several days, marked by  a great deal of gift giving. Passersby greet one another in various dialects: Sun Nean Fai Lok and Xin Nain Kuai Le (Happy New Year) or Kung Hey Fat Choi and Gong Xi Fa Cai (May Prosperity Be With You).

Fifteen days after New Years' Day, the celebration's end is marked by the Festival of Lanterns. It is a time for lantern shows and folk dances ... and another reason to feast. Another kind of dumpling is traditionally served-- tang yuan-- sweet rice balls that are stuffed with sweet or spicy fillings.

Chinese New Year is like a combination of Thanksgiving and Easter that celebrates the sacredness of the family and presents a time of renewal. Food, naturally, is central to the New Year. But unlike the reminiscent Thanksgiving turkey, everything eaten during the two-week Chinese tradition which begins in 2000 on February 5 holds auspicious meaning and is believed to directly affect one's fortune for the coming year.

One tasty ritual during the New Year period is eating cake, both sweet and savory. After steaming, they are cooled, cut into bite-size pieces, pan-fried, and served with oyster sauce. Cake is eaten for breakfast and whenever visitors stop by. What's the fortuitous significance? Rice flour, which symbolizes cohesiveness; the round shape, which represents unity of family; and the slight rising of the cakes, which  indicates rising fortune.

If eating your way to good fortune sounds like a fine idea, try the three Chinese New Year's cake recipes:

New Year's Cake
Called Neen Gow in Chinese, this chewy cake contains glutinous rice flour to symbolize cohesiveness and peen tong brown candy to represent the sweetness of life. It is the most important cake of the holiday and is served only during the New Year celebration.

Turnip Cake
Law Bock Gow is served on New Year's Day as a symbol of  prosperity and rising fortune. You can also find this savory cake on the menu throughout the year in dim sum houses. The texture of savory cakes such as this and Taro Root Cake is similar to polenta.

Taro Root Cake
The savory Woo Tul Gow is often served in dim sum houses, but is unsurpassed when made at home using generous amounts of what Young calls "the good stuff": Chinese dried scallops, bacon, and mushrooms.

Red Lucky Money Envelopes
It is Chinese tradition to wish  family and friends "Gung Hay Fat Choy" with red envelopes containing gifts of money.



Fireworks and Family Feasts
At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

The Lantern Festival
In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year event.
 


GOOD FORTUNE

red lucky money envelopered lucky money envelope
Introduction to the Chinese Calendar
Send a Chinese New Year Card
Bamboo
Chinese Calendar

Chinese Fortune CookieChinese Fortune Cookie

DIM SUM
[DIHM SUHM]
Cantonese for "heart's delight," dim sum  includes a variety of small, mouth-watering dishes such as steamed or fried dumplings, shrimp balls, steamed buns and Chinese pastries. Dim sum  standard fare in tea houses can be enjoyed any time of the day. Unlike most dining establishments, servers in a dim sum eatery do not take orders, per se. Instead, they walk among the tables with carts or trays of  kitchen-fresh food. Diners simply point to the item they want, which is served on small plates or in baskets. Each item usually has a set price. At the end of the meal, the check is tallied by counting the  dishes on the table. Some dim sum restaurants add the price of each dish to a check that remains on the table, clearing dishes as they are emptied.
Chinese Cuisine


SUE-ON'S FOOD ODYSSEY
Sue-On's Seven Day Food Log
Chinese Food Forum
W. Chuang's Chinese and Japanese Recipe Archive
FATFREE Archives' Chinese Recipes
Stuart's Chinese Recipes
Chinese Recipes



CHINESE LIFESTYLES


Wado-Ryu Karate Links


Taoism and the Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Society


Hillman Martial Arts Compendium: Wado-Kai Karate
A VIRTUAL TOUR of SOO'S CHINESE RESTAURANT
SOO'S RESTAURANT ARCHIVE: A Manitoba Landmark from 1970-2002
BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN ECLECTIC STUDIO

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William Hillman
Assistant Professor ~ Faculty of Education
Brandon University ~ Brandon, Manitoba
hillmanw@brandonu.ca

BillSue-On