Thomas F. O'Neill
The Chinese New Year was ushered in on January 22nd -- the year of the rabbit. In Chinese culture, the rabbit is one of the luckiest of the twelve animals in the zodiac. The year of the rabbit represents the washing away of bad luck and bringing in good luck. For those of you who believe in luck, this year will bring about a year of prosperity for all those who show initiative in all their endeavors.
This year will further be classified as one of two sides of the yin-yang symbol. This year is considered yin, and compared to its light, a more active counterpart, emphasizing the importance of rest and the cultivation of a peaceful heart. The rabbit is also a symbol of intellect and cautiousness but, most importantly, conscientiousness.
I witnessed my first Chinese New Year Celebration here in China in 2010. Many foreigners like me living in Suzhou, China, enjoy the experience of going to Shiquan Street. It is due to the many western bars and restaurants there. I spent a portion of the Chinese New Year in 2010 at an extremely popular place on that street. It was called Jane's Pub Bar, which is no longer there due to the COVID pandemic, which closed many businesses.
I wasn't aware then that a huge firework display was going to be set off in front of Jane's Pub Bar to usher in the new year. I got more enjoyment, though, from watching how excited the locals got when setting off those fireworks in the night sky. I quickly pulled out my smartphone to capture part of the moment in a video.
In America, we rely heavily on public safety, so it was quite amusing seeing the fireworks going off while the street was still open for traffic. No one seemed to mind, though, and we really enjoyed watching the night sky light up with booming bursts of exploding energy.
When the show ended and the smoke cleared, a very attractive Chinese woman ran up and gave me a big kiss, and yelled, "Happy new year, Tom." That was exhilarating, too, and since then, I've become a huge fan of the Chinese New Year.
YouTube-Suzhou, China in front of Jane's Pub Bar in 2014.
Me (Thomas F O'Neill) celebrating the Chinese New Year in Suzhou, China in front of Jane's Pub Bar in 2014, link to www.youtube,com above.
Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F O’Neill
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