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Showing posts from February, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year

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YESTERDAY was the most auspicious occasion for the Chinese community in Brunei and more than 1.3 billion Chinese around the world — the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by new-year visits to kin, relatives and friends. Everyone will be wearing new clothes to signify a new year and most in various shades of red. To the Chinese, red is the emblem of joy, and symbolises virtue, truth and sincerity.

The origin of Chinese New Year began with the fight against a mythical beast called Nien.

Nien would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops including villagers especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers put food in front of their doors.

Over time, they saw that Nien was scared away by the colour red. Every time when the New Year was about to come, the inhabitants would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. They also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nien.

In Brunei, presumably the New Year celebrations wer…

St Valentine's Day

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[Photo from Google Earth - Lovers' Island - formerly known by the less romantic name of Galesnjak, off the coast of Croatia - It is just 130,000 square yards and is uninhabited, making it an intriguing location for a romantic Valentine's Day getaway.]

In most parts of the world, today is Valentine's Day. It has been estimated that throughout the world, approximately one billion valentine cards are sent during Valentine's Day, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas; and that 85 percent of all cards are purchased by women!

Did you know that Valentine's Day began as a pagan festival? The Romans then engaged in an annual fertility rite in honour of one of their many gods named Lupercus where the names of young women were placed in a box and drawn by adolescent men. The resulting random matches became 'companions' for the following year. The Catholic Church tried to end this pagan rite and selected a martyred Saint Vale…