An old legend tells that once Buddha invited all the animals to celebrate together the New Year. Only twelve animals appeared at the celebration and generous Buddha named each year after one of them. The legend narrates further that a person born in a year of a particular animal shares some character threats with it.
The Chinese zodiac was official introduced around 2000 year ago during the Han Dynasty and has a cycle of 60 years. On the practical site the zodiac was used as a time metrics, counting years, months, days and hours.
January 31st this year has set the beginning of the Chinese year of the Wooden Horse.
In article for The Independent the social media editor Felicity Morse quoted a prediction of a fenq shui practitioner Raymond Lo for Reuters that the year of the horse is also a yang wood year, when people will stick more to their principles and stand firm. So it is hard to negotiate or compromise as there are more tendencies for people to fight for their ideals.
But every new year starts with high hopes and glamorous celebration. This is also what we enjoyed having spent the afternoon in the heart of the Chinatown of the city of Milan, in Via Paolo Sarpi: costumes in golden and red, lanterns, festive walks of paper dragons, laughter, rhythm of the drums and curious crowd.
Situated in zona 8, via Paolo Sarpi was one of the first places where the Chinese community in Milano was settling down in the beginning of 20th century.
First time I had the chance to walk there, an year ago when we moved in the city, I remember my astonishment by discovering the lovely street with an old architecture Milanese hosting a constellation of red lanterns and Chinese shops.
Recently the street underwent reconstruction and became pedestrian, so a walk in between the Chinese markets, bursting with life coffee shops and inviting for a mouth-watering dinner restaurant is always on the list.
The celebration of the Chinese New Year inspired me to look for more information about the Chinese community in Milano. By googling the issue, I encountered a very nice articled written by Elena Fiorentini, which you can read here in Italian.
According to Mrs. Fiorentini’ sources the first Chinese arrived in Milano in the first decades of the previous century. They were working as ambulant traders of silk ties produced in Como (famous with the silk production). The Chinese traders were inviting the buyers with a phrase which remained embedded in the Milanese urban legends like Clavatte due lile or Ties for two liras – definitely a competitive price for those days.
So today we came back home with a gorgeous Red lantern which we placed in the bedroom and spent the rest of the evening having fun discovering our Chinese zodiac sign strengths. Rob turned out to be a Metal Dog until I am a courageous Fire Rabbit.