the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Happy Chinese New Year

From “Learn Chinese” —

Lǐ nǚshì nín hǎo. Rènshi nǐ hěn gāo xìng.
Hello, Madam Li. Very pleased to meet you.

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in rat years tend to be leaders, pioneers, and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking.

Happy New Year to all the charming, passionate, charismatic, practical, and hardworking Chinese and Chinese-American babes who read this blog! Oh yeah, and the Chinese guys, too.


  1. natalie

    Wait…is today Chinese New Year? I miss out on everything good over here!

  2. Miss Britt

    I bet the animal that should actually have described me was one of the ones that just didn’t show up.

  3. iamthediva

    hm, looks like i’m going to have a rat-baby….

  4. melanie

    i think I am an ox. what are you neil?

  5. Manictastic

    Happy Chinese New Year, but wasn’t it like Thursday. I have actually no idea since it always seems to move. Did you know we are already 4706? You haven’t aged a bit since I last saw you in 2008 Neil 😉

  6. Dagny

    Yesterday was Chinese New Year. But “Gung hay fat choy” to you anyway.

  7. kat

    Chúc mừng năm má»›i, which is Vietnamese for “Happy New Year,” which is was in Vietnam as well.

  8. orieyenta

    Someone called me yesterday and said, “La Shana Tova Chinese”. We celebrated like any other Chinese Jews would do and we ate blintzes and kugel.

  9. Frida

    What about all the charming, passionate, charismatic, practical, hardworking Kiwi rats who visit you?

    Cheers and Happy New Year to you too.

  10. DaveX

    Does it bother anyone else that those little girls switched right and left hands for their air guitar-ing?

  11. teahouseblossom

    Yes, I prefer the more modern and inclusive term of Lunar New Year.

    And I’m disturbed by the hip-shaking of the girls in that video. Hello, JonBenet!

  12. NYR

    Rat is the first to arrive, and the Pig last; No wonder I am always late for meetings….

    Happy New year!

    2,008 OR 4,057 is the first year for a new cycle of 60 years, so good time to get started on new adventures or endeavors.

  13. Leanne

    Hmmm. I’m a snake. I think I like that.

  14. Neil

    Teahouseblossom – yes, I did pause for a second about those girls and their hip-shaking, but I found the tune too catchy to not share…

    Do you know what they are saying? I know it has something to do with the new year, right?

  15. an9ie

    Happy New Year, Neil! I’m in a country that allows fireworks and they’ve been going off since Wednesday night – whee!

  16. better safe than sorry

    i think i’m a goat and i bought fortune cookies at the grocery store, they had a huge seasonal display set up, fortunately, no rats in sight.

  17. E

    happy new year from the monkey 🙂

  18. Jennifer

    Not for nothing, but I think it’s appropriate that Bush’s last twelve months in office are deemed the Year of the Rat.

  19. teahouseblossom answer your question, Neil..what they’re singing is pretty unintelligible. Because they’re so young they can barely form the words to begin with. It’s like they’re speaking baby talk. Scary, huh?

  20. CuriosityKiller

    Gung hay fa choy! I was surprised to read about chinese new year on your blog. LOL

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