We're about half way through the Chinese New Year celebrations for 2013. Things got rolling on February 10th, and in Asian communities worldwide this is a big celebration. People travel to be with family, there are fireworks, lion dances and all kinds of yummy foods. Fifteen days later, the celebration culminates with the lantern viewing festival. (If you're in Portland, check out the festivities at the Lan Su Chinese Garden.)
2013 is the year of the Snake in the Chinese zodiac (a twelve year cycle). People born under the snake sign are purported to demonstrate intelligence, hard work and a quiet nature. They appreciate fine things.
I've been afraid of snakes (the animal, not the human) since my childhood. I think it's an inherited fear. I've worked to reduce my sensitivity, even going to rattlesnake school when I was living in New Mexico. (It helped.) Perhaps this is the year to make even more peace with snakes. After all, the Ox (my sign) is supposed to be compatible.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy and Prosperous New Year to you!