Saturday, March 2, 2013

Naming The Years After Animals

To the uninformed, every year in the Chinese calendar might appear to be the year of the dragon.  However this time around the sun, it's actually the year of the snake.  What's the difference?  Dragons are mythical creatures that appear everywhere in ancient human culture, from Britain to Japan.  A snake is a real creature.  In fact, there are many of them everywhere.  Recently in Guam, the U.S. Military took this approach to reprieving the snake population.  And mostly due to escaped pets, the burmese python population has taken over the Everglades in such numbers that they actually have contests to see how many they can get rid of.

If this is the year of the snake, it would make sense.  Less sense it would make if this were the year of the moose, who are now considered endangered in parts of the country.

From YaleNews with regards to this event:

"A lion dance parade and Chinese arts for adults and children in downtown New Haven will usher in the Year of the Snake on Saturday, and Sunday, March 2 and 3.

The two-day event is co-sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale, the New Haven Museum, and the Yale-China Association, with support from the Yale Programs in International Educational Resources.

The snake is one of 12 animals celebrated as part of the Chinese lunar calendar."

Links Mentioned:

Bonus Questions:

  • What's the plural of "Moose" (?)
  • What was the Chinese animal for the year you were born?
  • If you could name an animal to add to the Chinese calendar, what would it be?
Don't forget to check out the newly renovated Yale University Art Gallery, which resembles more of an art museum than ever before. 

Learn  more about the Chinese Lunar Calendar on Wikipedia.