I read on the internet today is the Chinese New Year. Normally I am skeptical about things on line, but this seems legitimate. Apparently it is The Year of the Ox, which sounds better than last year’s animal, which was The Year of the Rat. 2 020 was indeed a ratty year.  I don’t know much about the animal, other than the word ox retains the Old English way to pluralize a noun.*  I personally don’t know an oxen, but I do know a lot of ratten – opps I meant to write rats.

What one does to celebrate The Chinese New Year is not clear.  A friend on Facebook advised me to eat dumplings today for good luck. This sounds similar to Someone’s insistence of eating black-eyed peas on the first of January . I like dumplings more than I like black-eyed peas so I won’t say nothing against it.  It is enough for my first crack at the holiday.

Twitter has a few shady remarks why Westerners would bother to celebrate the day as it isn’t proper new year’s day. I smell a rat (or is that an ox?). This sounds like another white man’s paranoia about ‘them’ infiltrating  the white man’s world.  I read the same rubbish every 5 May when there are grumbles why ‘we’ are celebrating ‘something Mexican’.**  I am neither Chinese nor Mexican but what the hell. it’s jolly good fun.  Every March I do something on St. Patrick’s Day although I don’t have a strand of Irish genes either. ***  Any excuse for a party.

I have a face calendar full up with holidays of which I am clueless. Along with the dates it lists the origins of the holidays (mostly UK, Canada, and many from NZ of all places). What fascinates me most are the ones called ‘bank holidays”.  One could have frequent parties if you adopted all of these these and did a little research what to do.  The biggest challenge looks  to be the ‘bank holidays”. What does one do to commemorate these days?  Go to the bank?  Extract money?  With ATMs so ubiquitous this seems to spoil the fun.

On Twitter a friend is campaigning for celebrating the 31 of every month not unlike Halloween. She just finished “Janu-ween” although I forget what she did that day.  What really needs a holiday is the month of August. Next time I am at the office I will have a look-see at the face calendar at August if there are any bank holidays or happenings in NZ that I could try.  I hope the food is good.


*Once upon a time (over a thousand years ago) if you wanted to have more than one thing  you added ‘-en’:  ox/oxen; brother/brethren.  Later on the ending ‘-s” took over.

**The irony of this one is few Mexicans in the area bother with this holiday of no importance. They look on the shenanigans with amused bewilderment and cringe a little at the nonsense the gringos are up to. On the other hand, they exploit the silliness and sales of foodstuffs skyrocket this day.  Good for them.

***St. Patrick’s Day is the exception that on this day “Everyone is Irish”. I don’t hear “Everyone is Chinese” or “Everyone’s Mexican” but then Irish are white.