Happy Lunar New Year

Yesterday, February 1st, we entered the year of the Tiger which gives me the opportunity to feature one of my favourite pieces of street art on the side of a building on Harbord St. The photo was taken some years ago and sadly, the poor tiger has aged and now looks shabby and run down which is disappointing. It was painted by a female Canadian-Chilean artist Shalak in 2015.

Lunar New Year is celebrated in many Asian countries such as China, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam and celebrations can go on for several days. In China, it is also referred to as the Spring Festival. Typically, people clean their houses before the start of the new year to rid their homes of bad luck. A family meal is celebrated on New Year’s eve with symbolic foods. The colour red is worn as it is associated with luck and prosperity. This year, 2022, is the year of the Water Tiger and occurs every 60 years. Apparently, the year of the Water Tiger marks a new availability of creative energy and impetus for action, and is a year of developing balance, determination and strength of mind. Given that with Covid, we have a need for all of these things, I hope the Tiger brings us luck.

Today is Groundhog Day which derives from an ancient northern European tradition marking the mid-point between the winter and spring equinoxes. According to legend, if the groundhog awakes from its hibernation and comes out to see the sun thus casting a shadow, we’re in for a long winter. If the weather in Wiarton, where our groundhog Wiarton Willie resides, is anything like it is in Toronto today, there definitely will not be any shadow so maybe it won’t be a long winter but don’t hold your breath!

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