Today begins the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Traditionally, it's a 15-day celebration so it ends on February 4, 2011. Actually, for the first time here in the Philippines, the occasion is observed as a special non-working holiday.
So have you guys checked your fortune for the year of the Black Dragon? (Black is the designated color for the element of water, in Chinese astrology). There are mainly two perspectives in Chinese astrology - one is by your animal sign, and the other is by your element. Did you know that the element of the year you are born is different from your lucky element?
I'm a wood rabbit. My source says that it's gonna be a fair year for the rabbit even without any lucky signs *sob*. Because there are no lucky signs, I should take care of what I have now - my relationships, my resources, and my health. But my birth element is wood, and 2012 is a water year. Water is my lucky element. Water nourishes the trees (wood) so help and support will always be available to me this year. ^_^
Read your fortune for 2012 at ChineseAstrologyOnline.Com. Not a very well designed website but the content is highly credible.
Since it's the year of the dragon I've decorated my online notebook with this red paper dragon cut-out for the much needed good luck.
The traditional art of paper cutting is called Jianzhi - invented in the Han Dynasty. Paper started as a precious commodity back then. So people with access to paper for art purposes were usually nobles.
In the rural countrysides of mainland China, paper cutting is traditionally a female activity. In the past, girls were trained to master the craft and brides are often judged by their skill. On the other hand, men usually were the professional cutters.
The paper used in this art is really thin and delicate. So don't ever think it's easy to make. If you want to see colorful and intricate collections of jianzhi check out SinoPaperArt.Com. =)