There are several reasons I am jealous of the Chinese culture. They have a Great Wall. Their generals are not known for killing, but for being delicious chicken dishes. They can actually read the tattoos that ditzy blond ladies get and know for a fact that it does not say beautiful, but rather “truly dumb girl.”
One of the biggest reasons, though, is the New Year.
When 2011 ended and 2012 rolled around, Americans celebrated the same way they always do. People stood in crowded areas, counting, drinking and making subsequent bad decisions because of that drinking. Others, like myself, watched a large ball slowly lower in New York City. When the ball reached the bottom, everyone yelled and kissed. It was all very, very stupid.
In China, though, the celebration is so much more. For starters, it lasts fifteen days. They celebrate a new year for almost 5% of that year! We don’t have a holiday that lasts that long. You only have the 12 days of Christmas and New Year’s gets far less attention. Aside from the people who are up all night puking, our New Year’s celebration ends at roughly 12:03 a.m. when we go to bed and ABC puts Dick Clark back in his cryogenic chamber until the next time he is needed.
Instead of a stupid ball, China has large parades and feasts. People dress like crazy looking dragons and run down the street. Family members distribute packets of money to each other. In some areas of the country, there is even a special time set aside for meeting a mate. It is really the holiday to end all holidays.
To top it off, each year has a theme. For instance, 2012 is the year of the dragon. Not just any dragon, mind you, but the water dragon. That is a fairly fearsome animal to have your birth year named after.
In fact, there is only one issue I have with the Chinese New Year.
Why must I be from the year of the rabbit?
There are a lot more dangerous, manly animals to have your birth year named after. Dragons and tigers could tear you limb from limb. Heck, even the year of the rat has the black plague to strike fear into its enemies.
I, though, have nothing. Just a stupid, soft, adorable, fluffy bunny.
Of course, Chinese culture is very different from ours. Whenever I heard that I was from the year of the rabbit, I assumed that the rabbit is the highest, most noble creature in Chinese mythology, ruler to all the other animals. There was probably some parable about a rabbit saving the world from destruction and stopping Hitler from taking over the globe.
As it turns out, there is not. The rabbit is just that: a rabbit.
Even the character traits depress me. While snakes are wise and dogs are attractive, rabbits are soft-spoken, elegant, and tender. It’s like the ancient Chinese calendar is calling me a wuss.
What have I done to offend the Chinese? I have frequently spoken praise for their delicious cuisine. I have avoided all racial slurs and stereotypes. I even continued buying their exported goods while the rest of the country was worried about “lead poisoning.”
Maybe I could suggest a change to the calendar. For instance, a year of the puma would be pretty sweet. What about year of the rabid wolf? We could even try out a year of the firm handshake. Just anything more masculine than a rabbit.
While we’re at it, I vote that the character traits change a bit. Instead of “sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious,” why don’t we go with “deadly, tough, awesome, untouchable, handy with tools, musky?” That seems a bit more accurate.
I know that the Chinese people spent a very long time working on this calendar and it shows. It is a very fine calendar. I’m just asking that one tiny exception be made.
I guess this is just upsetting me. Why do other people get great animals and I have a stupid rabbit? Just go away and leave me alone.
…And yes, I know that rabbits are moody and superficial. Just because I’m getting upset because the animal that was assigned to me does not reflect my many masculine attributes does not mean I’m being “super-moody.” This is just a coincidental character trait. It has nothing to do with my stupid Chinese Zodiac sign.
I guess it could be worse. I could be from the year of the goat. Goats always stink and spend all day trying to eat trash and clothes.
At least a rabbit is cute.