On Tuesday, February 1st, the Moon will come to New Phase, coincident with the halfway point in the winter season, which marks the Cross Quarter Day, and this year inaugurates the Chinese New Year.
The observance of New Year varies from culture to culture, and although the Gregorian calendar system with its January 1st starting date has been accepted as the global civic calendar since the early 20th century, cultural observances of the New Year still vary widely: In the Islamic calendar, New Year occurred in mid-August, 2021; the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, was in early September; in the Eastern Orthodox Julian calendar, New Year arrived on January 14th; and this week, we arrive at the New Moon that instigates New Year in the Chinese system. And then, five sleeps after this mid-Winter Moon, the New Year is observed in the indigenous traditions around the eastern Great Lakes Region.
In the Chinese system, 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, a time described as being dynamic, adventurous, impulsive, unpredictable. Chinese astrology is an intricately woven system that is based in rhythms of time, as opposed to western astrology, which is rooted in the position of the Sun relative to the stars in space.
Now not only is this the Year of the Tiger, but according to the sacred elements of the Chinese system, 2022 is further identified as the Year of the Water Tiger. Such a year only comes around every 60 years, with the water element softening the Tiger, toward more open-mindedness.
Whichever New Year you observe, these few lines from poet Li-Young Lee’s “Book of My Nights” may apply: The moon from any window is one part whoever’s looking.
Wishing you Happy New Year, always,
Mary Stewart Adams
Image above from The International Dunhuang Project: The Silk Road Online
Hear this episode on Interlochen Public Radio, and on my podcast The Storyteller’s Night Sky. And BONUS, I’m a guest on IPR Classical Radio’s Kids Commute this week, where it’s all about the Moon. Check it out at this link!