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Gung Hay Fat Choy! It’s time to celebrate Chinese New Year.

By Paul Viau | Jan 31, 2013

Sunday, Feb. 10 is the start of an exciting, new year, for the Chinese culture. It’s out with that pesky ‘Year of the Dragon,’ and in with the promising ‘Year of the Snake.’

To be precise, 2013 is the year of the water snake, and (Did you know?) if you were born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, or this year — you’ve been snake bit.

People born in the ‘Year of the Snake’ are extremely self-reliant. They don’t like to ask others for advice — not because they don’t trust anyone — they’re just being careful.

Snakes have excellent communication skills, but they are normally quiet and unassuming. They keep out of the spotlight, working alone, then strike with fearsome terror. (Sorry, I made that last part up.)

Actually, snakes can be very charismatic — the life of the party — exuding great confidence. This explains how some of the notable people born in the ‘Year of the Snake’ include leaders the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy; renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Bob Dylan, and Edgar Allan Poe; pop culture figures like Martha Stewart (who can show you how to make a lovely water snake centerpiece out of Japanese eggplant), Howard Stern, and Charlie Sheen.

As you probably suspected from my writing over the years, I’m not lucky enough to be born in the ‘Year of the Snake” — I’m a pig (or boar.) To be precise, I’m a ‘Fire Pig.’

On one hand, that makes me active, outgoing, and extroverted. Unfortunately, we ‘Fire Pigs’ also tend to be bold, abrasive, and unafraid to take risks. Don’t ever double-cross a ‘Fire Pig.’ And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Oh yes, one last character trait about ‘Pigs’ — sure to resound with my wife — we like to spend money.

This explains why, when my last VISA bill came, Carol looked me square in the eyes and said, “Stop spending money.”

So I had foot surgery, to curb my spending.

But (Sorry) I’m getting way off the subject of Chinese New Year. This year it happens to be the Sunday after the Super Bowl, so why not channel your inner snake (or the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, or pig — and as one of my favorite Saturday Night Live characters would say, “Party on, Garth.”

By the way, Garth (Dana Carvey) was born in the year 1955 — so he’s a Sheep.

At this stage of his career, he just wants to relax in peace and graze a little.

If you want to relax and celebrate Chinese New Year, graze a little, and learn more about the Chinese culture and Chinese Medicine, you are welcome to stop by Old Mountain Health Center, 292 N. Haywood St., from 6 p.m.-on, Friday, Feb 8.

Nathan Novgrod, Chinese medicine and acupuncture practitioner, is hosting a Chinese New Year open house; where he will demonstrate Chinese Tui-Na massage, acupuncture techniques and Tai Chi.

Refreshments will be served, and there will also be a drawing for a $60 Tui-Na. massage. For more information, call Novgrod at 283-0268.

Then think to yourself — Tui-Na —Ahhhhh!

In this humble ‘Pig’s’ opinion, Tui-Na is one of the best forms of massage — especially in Nathan Novgrod’s skilled hands.

Which reminds me, after a month on crutches, I need some Tui-Na.

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