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Welcoming the Year of the Metal Rat

MANILA — Lucky holiday decorations, traditional lion and dragon dances, and colorful fireworks lit up the vibrant streets of Chinatown in Binondo, Manila and wowed revelers who welcomed on Saturday the “Year of the Metal Rat”, which is seen to be filled with growth and new opportunities.

Many members of the Filipino-Chinese community celebrated the Chinese New Year in Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown acknowledged in 1954 as a permanent settlement of Chinese immigrants during the Spanish rule.

The festive celebration of Chinese New Year was also held in other parts of Metro Manila, Cebu City, Iloilo City, and Davao City.

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, has no fixed date in the Gregorian calendar but is always between January 21 and February 20.

This year, it falls on Saturday, January 25, and ushers in the year of the rat, which is the first animal of the Chinese Zodiac, and the start of a new 12-year cycle.

Chinese New Year has been declared a special non-working day in the Philippines, which is home to a large Filipino-Chinese community.

In 2013, the Senate estimated that pure Chinese nationals comprise about 1.35 million of the Philippine population, while Filipinos of Chinese descent are at 22.8 million.

It was in 2014 when the Lunar New Year was first declared as a holiday in the country to allow Filipino-Chinese, as well as Filipinos who are also embedded in the rich Chinese culture, to enjoy the festive celebration.

Yin and Yang Shop, the Feng Shui consultancy establishment at the New World Makati, took to Facebook to share its advice for the 15-day Spring Festival.

The public is advised to greet other people with “happy and auspicious greetings”; avoid negative thoughts; give angpao filled with money to children and unmarried relatives; spend time with families and loved ones; avoid sweeping and using sharp objects, and place in proper location all Feng Shui cures and enhancers on January 25.

Meanwhile, January 26 is considered “In-Laws Day”, which mandates married daughters to visit their parents, while January 27 should be a day to rest or stay at home with family, according to Yin and Yang Shop’s Facebook post.

On January 28, lighting incense and asking for more blessings are a must since it is said to be the “birthday of (the) God of Fortune,” it said.

Yin and Yang Shop added that January 25 is a good day to pursue new beginnings and pay attention to new opportunities because this day is “Sending Away Poverty” while January 26 is also a good day to start work and open back for business after the New Year festivities and celebrations.

On January 31 or “Everybody’s Birthday”, the public was told to find an opportunity to celebrate at home with family or with colleagues and officemates.

Yin and Yang Shop said employers can promote harmony and a team-effort atmosphere in the office or among workplace colleagues by having lunch or dinner with employees on February 1 for a “smooth luck year ahead.”

On February 8 or the day the Lantern Festival is celebrated, the “Wealth God” arrives to bestow “wealth, hopes and good fortune,” it said.

“It marks the end of the festivities and is seen as an auspicious day. Deemed to be lucky to celebrate again with families and friends for an enjoyable event,” Yin and Yang Shop said. (PNA)

Credit belongs to : Philippine News Agency

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