Welcoming the Year of the Snake

10 Feb

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.

The ubiquitous hong bao!  This one with a cute little snake

The ubiquitous hong bao! This one with a cute little snake

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.

Can you feel the scales?

Can you feel the scales?

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.

A modern take on the snake - but still mildly threatening

A modern take on the snake – but still mildly threatening

This free form version stretched over two stories in a shopping mall close to our place

This free form version stretched over two stories in a shopping mall close to our place

This one is selling jewelry - a well known Hong Kong brand.

This one is selling jewelry – a well known Hong Kong brand.

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!

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8 Responses to “Welcoming the Year of the Snake”

  1. ladyofthecakes February 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    I quite like snakes… their skin feels so smooth and warm. Those cutsey ones in the last pic look ridiculous, lol. I’m more for the slightly sinister, first image. Those headless mannequins sure do look a bit freaked out 😉

    • gkm2011 February 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      I had never even considered snakes being “cute” until this Chinese New Year. The snake in the clothing store is pretty powerful, I agree.

  2. ladyofthecakes February 11, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    Cute snakes are the way to go… look at how they are marketing oranges in North America!
    http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=105757

    • gkm2011 February 11, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Interesting, I agree snakes that sell oranges should be cute!

  3. becky6259 February 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    The dryer vent hose snake is pretty different, so he gets my vote. But generally I hate most snakes, lol. You have a happy snake year as well!

    • gkm2011 February 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

      Thanks! Already starting well for sure!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The end of Chinese New Year – Yuanxiaojie | 中国 Jumble - February 26, 2013

    […] year of the snake is starting well – and having tang yuan makes it even sweeter.  One of my friends sent me a […]

  2. Happy Year of the Horse! | 中国 Jumble - January 30, 2014

    […] 31, 2014 starts the year of the horse in the lunar calendar.  The year of the snake has slithered out the door and the horse strides in […]

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