Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday wonders: Chinese New Year

I'm sure many of you will be surprised that I'm not sharing Valentines today.  But to me, Valentine's Day is for lovers and greeting card companies cashing in on what is considered love, so I'm going with Chinese New Year, which this year is Friday, February 16.  For once, I didn't get these photos from Pexels.

Here are a few facts you might like to know about Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog:

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday for Chinese.

Chinese New Years are named after a cycle of 12 animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig, which are the signs of the Chinese Zodiac. Chinese Astrology associates character traits with people born in the year of each of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

The Chinese calendar needs to assign a unique animal name for each day inside the lunar month. Sometimes, the Chinese Lunar Calendar needs to add an extra lunar month (Leap Lunar Month) in the cycle to match the speed of the solar cycle. For example, in Year 2006, the Chinese calendar has two 7th lunar months. A lunar month contains 29 or 30 days. Therefore, a Chinese calendar needs 60 different animal names to make every single day unique such as the case of a leap lunar month.

To make the 60 unique color animal names, Chinese add the name of Five Elements, which are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth, in addition to animal names.  Five Elements are connected to colors, which are White, Black, Green, Red, and Brown. That's why each Chinese year also has a color animal name.   Therefore, this is the Year of the Brown Earth Dog.  I remember a few years back, I used a wooden painted-by-me rocking horse on a page to signify the Year of the Green Wood Horse.

Celebrations of the Chinese New Year start on New Year’s Day and continue for fifteen days.

There is a specific ritual (and sometimes several) for each of the 15 days.

The Chinese New Year 2018 will start on February 16, 2018 which corresponds to the second new moon after the winter Solstice.

2018 is, as noted above, the year of the Brown Earth Dog, and those born under this sign tend to show great determination and could attain the highest level of achievement if they decide to. The Dog has excellent manners, easily makes and keeps friends, works very hard, and appreciates luxury and the good things in life. They are very romantic, loving, sexy, and make loyal partners.

2018 is the Chinese 4715th Year.

Chinese New Year is a national holiday in China.

And because I always celebrate Chinese New Year with a spread of my own,

here is the page I created and scanned.

I didn't think it showed the gold and silver well, so I took some photos, too.

You can see this is the Year of the Brown Earth Dog.

I always use these Chinese Lanterns each Chinese New Year that my dear friend Cindy sent me years ago.  I think I have enough for maybe three or four more years, too.   Please note Year 4716 will begin on February 16.

I created this in my large art journal.  I used three different joss papers, of which the round ones include the Chinese Zodiac.

And because this is an animal, I am also joining Rike at Rike's Art this month's host at Art Journal Journey with her theme Animals A to Z.

Thank you for visiting today.  I hope to see you at Art Journal Journey, too.   Next week I hope to have another Wednesday wonders post that will be inspired by a blog I visit often.  Maybe yours!

22 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful Chinese images. Love the doggy page you made. Hope you are feeling better today. Take care, hugs, Valerie

Rike said...

So very interesting things about Chinese New Year, 4716, the Brown Earth Dog!
I am much impressed, also about your art journal page you created for this great event! I love this gold and silver lights on the page and all these fitting for the theme details, and of course, the DOG!
Thank you so much for such an absolutely outstanding entry for AJJ!
Wish you happy days! Rike xx

Dortesjs said...

great post, love your doggie page much

charlotte k said...

Elizabeth, I'm sorry you've been unwell, and hope you're feeling much better now - February is mean enough without being ill as well :/

Thanks for the info on Chinese New Year - a fascinating read! - and I loved your doggie spread too - a lovely nanny dog! Maybe if there was a Doggitine og Cattitine Day I would make a card, but like you, feel a bit weary about Valentine's Day LOL!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Such intersting things about the Chinese New Year! I don't know much about this -
my father spent one whole year in Kanton and told me that this celebrations are so big in China! My Chinese Zodiac sign is the water rabbit- but I don't know much about their signs! Wonderful images and your pages is UNIQUE! I adore it!
Even joss papers! I don't get them here - I always have a look out after them, since I can imagine how great to use in collages they are.
Happy Wednesday dear Ms. Co-Admin!
Take good care of you ♥♥♥

froebelsternchen Susi said...

A wonderful entry for Art Journal Journey my friend! ♥♥♥

My name is Erika. said...

OK, that is one awesome page. I do love the gold lanterns and the pup. I think if dog's cared every dog would be happy it is the year of the dog (and not the year of the cat.) :) And I think you mistook my question about sharing your adventures to NOLA. I wanted to know if you were going to share about your trip to New Orleans at any time (other than the T Day post). But I do understand you didn't make the trip recently and I do appreciate you letting me know how it was. :) Thanks for the interesting response in your comment. I am with you about Valentine's Day, it's not one of my favorites and Chinese New Year is much more interesting. Happy Valentine's Day anyhow. Hugs-Erika

CJ Kennedy said...

interesting facts about Chinese New Year. I'm not really a dog person, but the fella you chose for your page looks so happy and friendly. I think you captured the spirit of the Year of the Dog on your page. Personally, I think a cat should be added to the Chinese Zodiac. =^,.^=

Sami said...

Interesting information about the Chinese New Year. Because there's a big Chinese community in Australia there are a lot of celebrations happening. I plan to go and watch some Chinese dancing at my local shopping centre tomorrow.

Jeanie said...

I need to learn to draw dogs, especially since it's their year. I love your page, the gold, the fun of it. I don't know much about the traditions/history/celebrations of Chinese New Year. So, this was extra interesting. I love how you really dig deep and look into things like this and also interpret it with your art!

Meggymay said...

Super information about Chinese New Year and they were great photos showing the Year of the Dog.
You chose to use an awesome picture for your journal. I could just reach over and give this lovely dog a stroke on his head. Its a fabulous page.
Yvonne xx

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

These are lovely!

Last Thursday I celebrated Asian New Year with my art class (it's celebrated by the Vietnamese, Korean, Hmong & Mien and Japanese as well) by using bamboo brushes and watercolor paints. We used Asian brush paintings for inspiration. Tomorrow we are going to paint dogs, using oil pastels.

But getting back to your post, I loved all your selections. I loved the use of gilt and the Asian zodiac. Beautiful.

craftytrog said...

Interesting information about Chinese New Year, and a great journal page too.
Spooky that I used dogs on my journal page today, without knowing what I now know! Lol!
Alison xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

I do hope you are feeling better by now - just delicate shall I say!!! I love all the images and I really love your journal page! You have filled in some gaps in my knowledge of Chinese New Year too! Take Care! Chrisx

Sandra Cox said...

You created a great piece! The information was fascinating and all the pics were fun.
Happy Year of the Dog and Valentine's Day, dear Elizabeth.

Divers and Sundry said...

Happy Chinese New Year! I love the dog you chose for your shiny, celebratory art :) I remember the paper placemats at the Chinese restaurant we used to go to which has the years for each animal. Fun!

RO said...

I knew about Chinese New Year, but not all of the history behind it, and you've captured the Year of the Dog perfectly in your spread. I always like shiny things for some reason. (lol) Hope all is well! Hugs...RO

da tabbies o trout towne said...

bleu & squiggles.....sure dawgz are kewl N all...but what a bout yeer oh de CAT....ya noe !!!!!! ☺☺☺

Cindy McMath said...

Great page for the Year of the Dog Elizabeth! I’m sure the boys didn’t think too much of it! Love your consistent use of the lantern scrap.

Rita said...

Happy year of the dog! :)

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, what an amazing post! I love the images you shared but it's your page that stole the show 😁. I love the layers and all the details that you created, those circular Chinese zodiac and gold papers look so beautiful! Have a great day! J 😊

Incipient Wings said...

so cool! Happy Chinese New Year!
Love the image you used..& the lanterns are a great addition:)
I don't think I saw..what is your animal?