Three holidays in a row.
Even though in the West, we follow the Gregorian calendar, some of our holidays and observances are determined by the lunar calendar, so we’re never sure when those holidays will fall. This year, Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, and Ash Wednesday come one right after the other.
Chinese New Year always falls on the first new moon on or after January 21st. Finding Ash Wednesday is a bit more complicated. It’s six weeks and four days before Easter, and Easter is on the first full moon after March 21st.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival. It’s China’s biggest holiday, a time to clean your house and reconnect with your family, eat special food, exchange gifts and red envelopes filled with money, shoot off fireworks, and much, much more. The festivities start on the eve of the new year and–for the hearty reveler–last for the next fifteen days.
As for me, I send my grandchildren cards and red envelopes. That’s about it.
Here’s a link, to an excellent photo essay about celebrating Chinese New Year in Manila’s Chinatown.
2016 is the Year of the Red Fire Monkey. The Year of the Sheep (Goat), which is just ending, was supposed to have been influenced by that dignified, sure-footed animal. Monkeys, on the other hand, have a reputation for being intelligent and playful, tricksters who feel no guilt when they turn things upside-down.
With the monkey’s wit and energy, the year ahead should be interesting.
If you’re a Christian who observes Lent, Fat Tuesday is your last chance to live it up. Whether you head to New Orleans, your favorite bar, an ice cream parlor, or a pastry shop, Tuesday is a good day for eating, drinking, and making merry before embarking on forty days of prayer and fasting.
I’m not fond of beer, but a hot fudge sundae or strawberry milkshake sounds like a good splurge to me. Other possibilities: piña colada, shrimp tempura, and churros y chocolate. I could go on and on.
Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.
Meménto, homo, quia pulvis es, et in púlverem revertéris
Whoops! I forgot about the Super Bowl on Sunday. It looks like we have four things in a row.
Do you watch the Super Bowl, celebrate Chinese New Year, party for Mardi Gras, or observe Lent? Does anyone do all four?