Happy hoppy new year!

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! I’m not doing anything particularly Chinesey, except for being the halfie that I am (which I do every day anyway) but here’s a picture I prepared earlier… taken at my cousin’s wedding nearly two years ago in the extremely Asian setting of, um, the Dandenongs…

Did you know it’s year of the rabbit this year, which just happens to be my year? I’ll leave it up to you to work out how old I’m going to be… I’ll give you a clue – I am not 12.

Meh, I may as well tell you I’m going to be 36, seeing as the following anecdote gets confusing otherwise. 
My Japanese friend told me it’s yakudoshi* this year for all women born in 1975, ie me. People are meant to experience yakudoshi several times in their lives, but despite living in Japan for 9 years, whenever I went to a shrine and checked the list of whose unlucky year it was meant to be, my numbers never seemed to come up. Maybe I was reading it wrongly? Who knows. Anyway, apparently this year is meant to be SAIAKU (= the WORST) for us 1975 ladies. However, another Japanese friend told me that because I’m a toshi onna** this year, that will cancel out all the bad luck. But wouldn’t that mean that whoever worked out the yakudoshi and Chinese zodiac years stuffed up?? This is all rather complicated so I’m not going to think about it too much, especially as I have sort of been looking forward to it being “my” year so that things will happen. What sort of things? I don’t know. Just.. things.

How about you, did anything change when it was your Chinese zodiac year? Do you know what animal you are? And do you think your animal is accurate in reflecting your personality? I do, to a degree, when it comes to me, but delving into that little can of worms would be a whole new post, so I will spare you and just wish you a happy new year instead!
Oh, and it’s also exactly a year today since I started this blog, but I’ll chat with you about that later too!

*Yakudoshi = 厄年 = something like Saturn Returns. It’s basically a year when the stars are not aligned in your favour, or something like that. It’s somewhat cynical but I have a feeling it might just be a massive moneyspinner for shrines in Japan, because most people who are going through yakudoshi go to shrines to have their bad luck absolved by priests. (My friend thinks her bad luck got transferred to her husband and that’s why he injured his leg playing sport and had to spend a year recovering).

**Toshi onna = 年女 = a woman whose zodiac year it is, ie me, and you too if you happen to be born in the year of the rabbit.