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by Rena Fulgencio, staff writer


One legend has it that before Lord Buddha departed earth, he summoned all the animals to bid him farewell. Only 12 showed up. As a reward, he named a year after each one in the order that it arrived: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar. The year 2007, the Year of the Boar, closed the most recent 12-year cycle and the rat rules the coming Chinese New Year, which starts Feb. 7.

The New Year will be 4706, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, which dates from 2637 B.C.E. and is the longest chronological record in history. A rat year is a time of hard work, activity, and renewal. This is a good year to launch projects, start a new job, or to get married. People born in a rat year, are generally courageous, enterprising, sociable, clever, and bright.

To celebrate the year of the rat, Chinatown businesses and residents will hold Spring Festival activities, such as the annual crowning of the Narcissus Queen and her court, lion and dragon dances, and parades.

Upcoming events include:

The Chinese New Year Festival from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Jan. 25 and 26 at the Chinese Cultural Plaza.

China’s Best Children’s Musical and Variety Show at 3 p.m. on Jan. 27, performed in the Pearl City High School Auditorium.

The 59th annual Narcissus Festival from 6 to 10 p.m., on Feb. 1.

A production of Chinatown, HI presented by The Arts at Marks Garage, 5 to 9 p.m., Feb. 1.

The Chinatown Open House, 5 to 11 p.m. Feb. 1 and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Feb. 2

The Night in Chinatown Festival and Parade, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Feb. 2.

Call 808-948-2007 or visit www.chinatownhi.com for more information.



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