Before today, I knew little about Lunar New Year. I knew it was a major Chinese holiday, but with the exception of dragons, and vibrant red lanterns, my knowledge was limited. Thanks to model KB, who inspired today FH's CNY celebration, my depth of understanding has been beautifully expanded.
I first featured the Hong Kong based model last November, (HERE:) and we've been chatting about themes for a follow-up. When KB shared a few shots from his recent work with Happy Chopsticks Photography, I thought they'd be perfect to help celebrate Chinese New Year.
KB was on board, but worried that most of the images from the shoot were a little too... well, let's just say combustible, for FH. Indeed, many of the images were highly erotic, and although it was hard, there were enough images to use before KB's climatic celebratory fire works explosion. shooting
'The shoot was an exciting one. Using the LED lights keep changing colors to try out different effect...and that was from normal arty shooting more erotic, so it's really a special one...There's one shoot that focused my orgasm and the photographer had to wait for the right moment to shoot...not that easy and I was a bit nervous as well...'
One of the things I was interested in asking KB, was about he and his family's traditions with Chinese New Year. Although I knew it was one of the most important Chinese holidays, it is also steeped in ritual and traditions. These rituals are important to get right, as mistakes can bring misfortune to others for the upcoming year.
In addition to visiting relatives, the wet flower and night markets, I was most interested in KB's comments about the red pockets. (Lai See Etiquette). The giving and receiving of red packets 🧧 is a minefield of potential social errors...
There are rituals about who you give them to, how much money goes into each, and what words you say when handing them to the recipient. There are an equal number of 'rules' about how to receive your packet, including always accepting them with both hands and never to open them in front of the person who gave it to you. Thankfully, with KB we don't have to worry about offending him. He's always been more than generous sharing what's inside the beautiful red packaging.
Rat: Optimistic and energetic, people born in the Rat year are likable by all. They are sensitive to other’s emotions but are stubborn with your opinion. Their personality is kind, but due to weak communication skills, their words may seem impolite and rude. On the financial side, they like saving and can be stingy. However, their love for hoarding will sometimes cause them to waste money on unnecessary things.
Although not everyone remembers it, many of us have a shared connection to the Chinese Zodiac and the Lunar New Year. As kids, most of use at one time or another were taken to a Chinese restaurant. If you hit the right one, it could be a magical experience. Many were decorated in vibrant colors, lanterns hanging from the ceiling, huge memorizing fish tanks. Best of all, there were those place mats.
Before even ordering the food, you scanned that place mat, looking for your year and hoping you were maybe a horse, a tiger, or a dragon. Most were not, which led to snickers from your brothers or friends about being a snake or a cock. Usually at this point your mother was getting frustrated, telling you to stop looking at the place mat and choose from the menu. Then of course was the inevitable argument when that certain someone in the group would order a hamburger or fish and chips...
In addition to being both educational and fascinating, were also a wonderful distraction. I remember loving to check them out as a kid, using them as conversation starters when on a date, and using them as something to read when the dinner conversation began to dwindle. What I didn't realize at the time, was their meaning and their significance within Chinese culture.
Although each year is symbolized by a specific animal, 2020 being the year of the rat, each animal is also separated by a heavenly branch. The four branches include wood, fire, earth, metal and water. 2020's rat is metal, the fourth phase of the Chinese philosophy of Wu Xing. Metal is the forth stage, and marks a decline in the matter's strength and associated with Autumn and old age. The Metal years are 1960 and 2020 and Rats born within these years tend to be reliable and live a stable life.
Men born in the Rat year are clever and adapt quickly to new environments. They are creative great at taking advantage of opportunities. However, they sometimes lack the courage to do so. Although they have great ideas, they might not be suitable for leadership positions.
Most compatible with Rat: Ox, Dragon, Monkey
Least compatible with Rat: Horse, Goat and Rabbit
As a rabbit, I'm one of the animals least compatible with rats,but FH does have a few connections to the often maligned rodent. A couple of years ago, I found myself with several pieces connected to rats, leading to a theme day focused on the rat. (HERE:) Rats turned up a few others times as well, including a Halloween post, (HERE:) but in most cases the rat was depicted as evil, not as fortunate and optimistic as described in the Chinese zodiac.
Then... while thinking of how to could put a more positive (and erotic) focus on the rat. I remembered some of the mask images that I'd previously featured by George from Naked Ambition. We've all at one time or another experienced the draw of a sexy rat, and most times, we resist. After checking out these shots from George, and it being the year of the rat, maybe it's time to let our guard down and grab (get) a little tail.
Lucky things for Rats
Colors: blue, gold, green
Numbers: 2, 3
Flowers: lily, African violet, valley lily
Directions of auspiciousness: southeast, northeast
Directions of wealth: southeast, east
Directions of love: West
Careers fit for Rats
Because of their independence and imagination, they are suitable for creative jobs. These include authors, editors and artists. However, if they join a team, their creative outlet may be blocked. Rats also pay attention to fine detail. They are fit for technical work, such as engineering and architecture.
Although a zodiac’s year is traditionally the most unfortunate, laden with bad omens and mishaps,(especially with health, relationships and romance) 2020 will perform reasonably well for the Rat. Success will come in the form of career; celebrate the fact that your efforts will be rewarded and seen. On the other hand, your health and relationships will prove to be a struggle. Visit your doctor at the first sign of illness, and work toward creating a loving, open environment for all of your relationships. The year will have its issues, but the positive factors can turn it around.