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In the multi-cultural environment of le•top we celebrate many holidays – but on February 14th – when most people were buying valentines – we were buying…FIRECRACKERS!  One of our favorite holidays is celebrating the beginning of the lunar New Year – Chinese New Year.   Our fearless leader (my husband Paul) was born in Hong Kong, and we have a great time every year when we celebrate his favorite childhood holiday. 

The most spectacular (and very loud) part of the celebration is setting off firecrackers in front of our building.  Why?  To rid ourselves of any lurking ‘evil spirits’ and start the new year off with a (literal) BANG!  This year we set off 20,000 firecrackers!  We warn our neighbors – and everyone enjoys the spectacle.  We follow this up with a luncheon here in our office – Chinese food of course!  Yummy!

The cycle of the Chinese Zodiac consists of 12 animal signs and the Year of 2010 is the Year of a Golden Tiger, which began on February 14, 2010 and ends on February 2, 2011.   It is a sign of courage. This fearless and fiery fighter is revered by the ancient Chinese as the sign that wards off the three main disasters of a household: fire, thieves and ghosts.  On New Year’s Day itself, it is beneficial to celebrate, to be happy, to have smiling faces, and to refrain from scowling, quarreling, or criticizing anyone.

Year of the Tiger

The Chinese believe that children have qualities that reflect their birth year, so for new ‘tiger’ babies here is what you can anticipate:

Courageous, active, and self-assured.   Optimistic, passionate and independent.  Rebellious, dynamic, and unpredictable.  Quick tempered but considerate.   Affectionate but careless.  The Tiger is a natural born leader and symbolizes power, passion and daring.

People born in the Year of the Tiger are generally well liked because of their charming personalities.  Tigers are fond of competitions. They simply cannot pass up a challenge.  They may appear cool and are unpredictable, and it would be unwise to underestimate their reactions.  Natural leaders, they have a strong sense of their own dignity.  They are intelligent, alert, and farsighted.  Good strategists and tacticians, they often have a hidden agenda.  As long as they do not risk their luck too often, and keep their restless nature under control, they will enjoy success and happiness.  Generally speaking, people born in the Year of the Tiger are fond of playing, and full of enthusiasm and sentiment. 

Famous Tiger People:  Agatha Christie, Crystal Gayle, Cybil Shepherd, Demi Moore, Hilary Swank, Jodie Foster, Marilyn Monroe, Mary Queen of Scots, Penelope Cruz, Queen Elizabeth II, Rosie O’Donnell, and Tom Cruise.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Happy New Year!  Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous year of the Tiger!

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