Each year as the lunar calendar turns the page a different animal gets front and center in the Chinese psyche. The year we are just finishing was the year of the dragon, a very auspicious year, that was considered lucky for getting married and having babies. A baby boom occurred in my office with three pregnancies out of 30 women in my department. Quite a high percentage for one year!
This year (starting Sunday) is the year of the snake. The snake year is an important one for Li as it is “his year.”
Last year with the year of the dragon, everyone was talking about China rising and the dragon from the east overpowering the west. Snake year is a little harder to make those kind of statements. Snakes can look very evil very easily and so most people have gone to the other extreme with very cute snakes that look like something out of a children’s book or a cartoon series.
For me snakes conjure up memories of my younger cousin who was obsessed with snakes when we were growing up. He’s now in his 20s so it’s not a current memory, but a strong one. I also remember our trip to Bohol last year when we saw the snake below up close.
Finally, due to my western upbringing, snakes make me think of the original snake story – Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden – snake as a temptress.
This last image is one that is supported in a strange way by many of the ads that are appearing – using snakes to tempt you to buy a watch or a car or anything else that they may feel like.
Here are a few snake images that I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks.
Which is your favorite?
Happy year of the snake to you all! 蛇年快乐！万事如意！新年大吉大利！身体健康！我给你们拜年！ Happy snake year – best wishes for a year of prosperity, health and all good things!