I’ve honestly never been one to believe in horoscopes or astrology of any kind. I used to only look it up for kicks. However, when life throws you curve balls, or places you in unforeseen situations, you find yourself looking for a little guidance or insight from a higher power or a cultural entity. Here, some fun predictions for 2012, the Year of the Dragon.
This year, the DRAGON is set to double their efforts in whatever they do — work, education, or other projects. 2012 predicts that Dragons will be very lucky this year. This could mean the start of a happy marriage, the beginning of a successful business, or a lucky lottery win. In addition, their natural talent and abilities should stand out with great results. However, watch that fire breath! Dragons are known for their tempers, so keep it in check as to not spoil your good work.
Just in time for Lunar New Year, we caught up with Parind Vora, executive chef and owner of Austin-based French and New American restaurant, Braise. Chef Parind, who was born in India and whose menu features big flavors and bold presentations, is inspired by the local food of his extensive domestic and international travels, including the Carribbean, Belize, and Austria. Influenced by his mastery of Indian spices through growing up in an Indian household, Chef Parind offers Vietnamese spring rolls at Braise with a modern twist of veal sweetbreads, pistachios, scallop mousse, and roasted red pepper coulis. Read on for a Q&A with the chef and his classic spring rolls recipe with pairing suggestions.
This year’s Chinese New Year falls on Feb. 3 and will be, according to the Chinese Zodiac sign, the Year of the Rabbit. This also happens to be my birthday and my Chinese Zodiac sign. I told you it’s so my year!
Many Chinese people, including my mother, are big believers in the Chinese Zodiacs, believing that according to your sign, your personalities will be a certain way and your life’s path will be a certain way.
I’m a little bit skeptical about that. Mainly because growing up, I always believed I was a Rabbit only to be informed by my mother in 8th grade that I was actually born in the Year of the Tiger, (the Chinese Lunar calendar runs differently than the calendar we’re used to so the Chinese New Year falls on a different day every year) only to find out four years later that I actually am a Rabbit. Can you say identity crisis?
Nonetheless, I’m willing to give this thousands-year old belief a chance. I decided to look up my horoscope via the internet and gauge if I actually fit the personality of the Year of the Rabbit. If so, who knows? Maybe my fortune may be all mapped out for me this year?
RABBIT CHARACTERISTICS (via the Internet)
Rabbits, like their animal counterparts, are quite calm people who do not exhibit aggressive behavior and will avoid confrontation at all costs. <<I can pack a mean punch if need be. But yea, I’m a pretty big people pleaser.
When angry about something, a Rabbit will approach it calmly and considerately, hardly ever raising his voice or becoming visibly annoyed. <<No. I’m pretty bad at controlling my emotions and am often told that I need o curb my attitude when angry.
Because of their serenity, Rabbits seem to miss things, whether they are confrontational in nature or not. <<Huh?
However, the Rabbit is quite keen and pays close attention to the situations developing around him. <<Yep. Pretty good with that.
He is intelligent and quick and can talk himself in or out of most situations with no problem.<<Lol. This strikes true. One of my bad habits is my tardiness and I used to joke that that’s why I have a pretty good personality, I have to make up for being late all the time!
The Chinese Rabbit is one of the most stylish creatures of the Chinese Animal Signs and finds interest in different cultures.<<Stylish? I work for a fashion mag so yeah, have to be pretty stylish.
He is classy and sophisticated, and can be found adorning one of the latest fashion magazine cover looks. <<Not necessarily so. I tend to favor classics and vintage finds. I love digging through my mom’s closet so all the stylishness comes from her!
Rabbits also like artistic ventures, such as painting and music and are generally quite present in these worlds. <<Yep.
They love top express themselves, which is evident when joining them at home for a function or a cup of coffee.<<Whoa. This is true. Do you know me or do you know me?
I also happen to be born in the year that’s classified as the year of the Fire Rabbit. Here are some additional characteristics.
THE FIRE RABBIT
Fire adds an unspoken magnetism and mystery to the Rabbit. <<I don’t know about mystery. I’m an open book.
These creatures have a burning desire to get out there and live life to its fullest.<<Yes I do but it is my hope that you all do as well!
They are active and adventurous and love anything that sparks their creativity or curiosity.<<Uh huh! Uh huh!
They can throw tantrums here and there, if provoked, but most of the time they work very hard to avoid conflict or unpleasant confrontations.<<Hey that’s true! But why does this contradict that other trait they had of me?
Fire Rabbits are charming and tend to push their emotions into the backs of their minds, but will speak up if necessary.<<Yes on charming, not really so on holding back emotions.
OK, so like all other types of astrologies, this one seems to have pretty general characteristics that I sometimes fit and sometimes don’t. Yes, some of the descriptions are spot-on but others, not so much.
And what’s knowing your astrological sign without knowing your fortune? Here is what is predicted for me in the year 2011 (via the Internet)
Rabbit Fortune in 2011:
This is the Tai sui year for the rabbit, there is plenty of evil star and less lucky ones. You may encounter many obstacles this year in the things you do. You may have nobility that can lend a hand in your career but you will still be prone to possible pressure. You have to stay positive and strive to forge ahead, try as much as you can to improve your social skills to make future career. You will be very much prone to emotional problems, you will encounter many mood swings, hot temper and it is sometimes difficult to control. You may encounter many argument with others. This year, you should pay attention to your health, stay alert to prevent accidents. Wealth is bad, not suitable for high-risk investments in order to avoid money disputes.
Oh goodness. Luckily (ironic, har har) for me, I don’t believe that astrological signs determine your future. Most importantly, your view on life does. I’m going to keep hopping ahead and make 2011 better than ever.
What about you? How is your year (astrological sign-wise or not) looking to be?
Gung Hay Fat Choy, Chuc Mung Nam Moi, and Sae Hae Bok Mani Ba Deu Se Yo!
No matter how you say it, this Lunar New Year’s is sure to be filled with plenty of red envelopes with shiny, new money, and all versions of chewy rice cake. But who knew Vegas was the place to be to kick off the Year of the Rabbit?
Bellagio’s Chinese New Year Sanctuary
WHEN: Now through March 5
WHERE: Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas
HOW: The display is complimentary to the public and open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens will be transformed from a winter wonderland into a serene sanctuary with a Chinese New Year display guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui and celebrating the spirit of the rabbit. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a 35-foot Chinese junk boat inspired by traditional 15th century fishing vessels, created by Daniels Wood Land, Inc., best known for building full-scale replicas of The Black Pearl for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise. A 12-foot rabbit with a luxurious coat comprised of live plants will watch over eight playing babies within a forest of bamboo trees. Nearby, the God of Prosperity, bringing good fortune and great luck to the New Year, will hold court in the entrance garden. Oversized brilliant red, silk Chinese lanterns along with a moongate wall, a symbol of mysticism and serenity, decorate the scene, as seven replica Terracotta Warriors, covered in crushed walnuts and ground carrot seeds, stand guard.
Dragon Parade at The Forum Shops at Caesars
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 3 beginning at approximately 10 am
WHERE: The Forum Shops at Caesars, Las Vegas
Join The Meadows School as they kick off the traditional dragon parade throughout The Forum Shops at Caesars. Led by senior Shannon Chen, 120 Meadows students will perform a Chinese dragon parade featuring two large and colorful dragons (powered by students), red and gold costumes (Chinese colors of joy), drums and firecrackers (to keep evil spirits away).
WHEN: Saturday, February 19, 2011 (rain or shine), 4:30 pm (check in at 3:30)
WHERE: Hunt begins at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, located at the foot of Market Street at the Embarcadero (behind the Hyatt Regency Hotel)
HOW: Ticket prices are from $30 to $40 for adults and $10 for kids under 18. For more information and ticket prices, please visit www.sftreasurehunts.com or call 415-564-9400
If you can’t make it to Vegas, try San Francisco instead. Once again, they’re putting on the largest and most popular urban sleuthing adventure in America. The Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt takes players throughout the city’s coolest neighborhoods, leading them to hidden gems commonly overlooked in the daily routine of life. From Chinatown to Telegraph Hill, look for clues and race to beat the clock against other teams. Come with your own team, or meet new friends. Oh, and best team outfit and best team name win prizes!