Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year, known as the Spring Festival in modern Mainland China, is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. Celebrations traditionally run from the preceding the first day, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month. The first day of the New Year falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February, in 2017, the first day of the Chinese New Year was on Saturday,28 January, initiating the year of the Rooster. The New Year festival is centuries old and gains significance because of several myths, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. Chinese New Year is considered a holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors. Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese New Year vary widely, the evening preceding Chinese New Years Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner.
It is traditional for every family to clean the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune. Windows and doors are decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of fortune or happiness, wealth. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes, in about one third of the Mainland population, or 500 million Northerners, dumplings feature prominently in the meals celebrating the festival. It is one of the worlds most prominent and celebrated festivals, the lunisolar Chinese calendar determines the date of Chinese New Year. In the Gregorian calendar, Chinese Lunar New Year begins at the new moon that falls between 21 January and 20 February, the median date of Chinese New Years Day is lichun on 4 or 5 February, the solar term next to Dahan. In the Chinese calendar, winter solstice must occur in the 11th month, to determine whether a year has an intercalary month, one only needs to check whether Chinese New Year is within the month of January.
The Gregorian Calendar dates for Chinese New Year from 1912 to 2101 are below, along with the years presiding animal zodiac, the traditional Chinese calendar follows a Metonic cycle, and returns to the same date in Gregorian calendar roughly. The names of the Earthly Branches have no English counterparts and are not the Chinese translations of the animals, alongside the 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac there is a 10-year cycle of heavenly stems. Each of the ten heavenly stems is associated with one of the five elements of Chinese astrology, Wood, Earth, the elements are rotated every two years while a yin and yang association alternates every year. The elements are distinguished, Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire. These produce a cycle that repeats every 60 years. For example, the year of the Yang Fire Rat occurred in 1936, many people inaccurately calculate their Chinese birth-year by converting it from their Gregorian birth-year
China, officially the Peoples Republic of China, is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia and the worlds most populous country, with a population of over 1.381 billion. The state is governed by the Communist Party of China and its capital is Beijing, the countrys major urban areas include Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. China is a power and a major regional power within Asia. Chinas landscape is vast and diverse, ranging from forest steppes, the Himalaya, Karakoram and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate China from much of South and Central Asia. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third and sixth longest in the world, Chinas coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometers long and is bounded by the Bohai, East China and South China seas. China emerged as one of the worlds earliest civilizations in the basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, Chinas political system was based on hereditary monarchies known as dynasties, in 1912, the Republic of China replaced the last dynasty and ruled the Chinese mainland until 1949, when it was defeated by the communist Peoples Liberation Army in the Chinese Civil War.
The Communist Party established the Peoples Republic of China in Beijing on 1 October 1949, both the ROC and PRC continue to claim to be the legitimate government of all China, though the latter has more recognition in the world and controls more territory. China had the largest economy in the world for much of the last two years, during which it has seen cycles of prosperity and decline. Since the introduction of reforms in 1978, China has become one of the worlds fastest-growing major economies. As of 2016, it is the worlds second-largest economy by nominal GDP, China is the worlds largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a nuclear weapons state and has the worlds largest standing army. The PRC is a member of the United Nations, as it replaced the ROC as a permanent member of the U. N. Security Council in 1971. China is a member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the WTO, APEC, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BCIM, the English name China is first attested in Richard Edens 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa.
The demonym, that is, the name for the people, Portuguese China is thought to derive from Persian Chīn, and perhaps ultimately from Sanskrit Cīna. Cīna was first used in early Hindu scripture, including the Mahābhārata, there are, other suggestions for the derivation of China. The official name of the state is the Peoples Republic of China. The shorter form is China Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó and it was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to Chinas Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing
Chinese guardian lions
Chinese guardian lions or Imperial guardian lions, traditionally known in Chinese simply as Shi, and often called Foo Dogs in the West, are a common representation of the lion in imperial China. The concept which originated in China, subsequently spread to parts of Asia including, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Cambodia. They are used in artistic contexts, for example on door-knockers. The lions are depicted in pairs. When used as statuary the pair would consist of a male leaning his paw upon an embroidered ball, guardian lions are referred to in various ways depending on language and context. In Chinese they are called simply shi meaning lion — the word shi itself is thought to be derived from the Persian word šer. Lions were first presented to the Han court by emissaries from Central Asia and Persia, the term Fo or Fu may be transliterations to the words 佛 or 福, which means Buddha or prosperity in Chinese, respectively. However, Chinese reference to the lion are seldom prefixed with 佛 or 福.
Reference to guardian lions as dogs in Western cultures may be due to the Japanese reference to them as Korean dogs due to their transmission from China through Korea into Japan. It may be due to the misidentification of the guardian lion figures as representing certain Chinese dog breeds such as the Chow Chow or Shih Tzu, the lions are traditionally carved from decorative stone, such as marble and granite or cast in bronze or iron. Because of the high cost of materials and the labor required to produce them. Indeed, a symbol of a familys wealth or social status was the placement of guardian lions in front of the family home. However, in modern times less expensive lions, mass-produced in concrete and resin, have become available, the lions are always presented in pairs, a manifestation of yin and yang, the female representing yin and the male yang. The male lion has its right front paw on a type of cloth ball simply called an embroidered ball, the female is essentially identical, but has a cub under the closer paw to the male, representing the cycle of life.
Symbolically, the female fu lion protects those dwelling inside, while the guards the structure. Sometimes the female has her mouth closed, and the male open and this symbolizes the enunciation of the sacred word om. However, Japanese adaptations state that the male is inhaling, representing life, while the female exhales, other styles have both lions with a single large pearl in each of their partially opened mouths. The pearl is carved so that it can roll about in the lions mouth, according to feng shui, correct placement of the lions is important to ensure their beneficial effect
California Department of Parks and Recreation
The California Department of Parks and Recreation, known as California State Parks, manages the California state parks system. Headquartered in Sacramento, park administration is divided into 25 districts, the California State Parks system is the largest state park system in the United States. Californias first state park was the Yosemite Grant, which constitutes part of Yosemite National Park. In 1864, the government set aside Yosemite Valley for preservation and ceded the land to the state. Californias oldest state park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, was founded in 1902, until 1921, each park was managed by an independent commission or agency. In 1927, the California Legislature, with the support of Governor C. C. Young, established the State Park Commission, and its membership included, Major Frederick R. Burnham, W. F. Chandler, William E. Colby, Henry W. OMelveny. The following year, a newly established State Park Commission began gathering support for the first state park bond issue and its efforts were rewarded in 1928 when Californians voted nearly three-to-one in favor of a $6 million park bond act.
With Newton B. Drury serving as officer, the new system of state parks rapidly began to grow. William Penn Mott, Jr. served as director of the agency under Governor Ronald Reagan, responsible for almost one-third of Californias scenic coastline, California State Parks manages the states finest coastal wetlands, estuaries and dune systems. California State Parks contains the largest and most diverse natural and cultural heritage holdings of any agency in the nation. The Department employs State Park Peace Officers Law Enforcement to protect and preserve the State Parks, Parks are patrolled by sworn State Park Peace Officers, of which there are two classifications, State Park Ranger and State Park Lifeguards. In May 2008 The National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the system as a whole on their list of Americas Most Endangered Places. The Parks Forward commission issued a report in 2015 that noted the lack of maintenance for many parks along with visitors who do not reflect the diversity of Californias population.
The report said the agency is using outdated technology for managing the parks, at least $1 million of more than $14 million in total proposed cuts resulting from park closures would take place during the current budget year. The deficit reducing measure would reduce or eliminate over 100 staff positions in addition to seasonal lifeguards at many state beaches. On May 29,2009, the State of California announced that it planned to close 220 parks, examples of service reductions included some parks only being open on weekends and holidays, or closing accessibility to portions of an otherwise open park. On May 11,2011, state officials announced that seventy parks would be closed due to department budget cuts in response to Californias continuing budget crises
Xuánwǔ or Xuándì, known as Zhēnwǔ or Zhēnwǔdàdì, is a deity in Chinese religion, and one of the higher-ranking deities in Taoism. He is revered as a god, able to control the elements. He is identified as the god of the north Hēidì and is revered by martial artists. He is the deity of Hebei and Mongolia. As some Cantonese and Southern Min speakers fled into the south from Hebei with the Song dynasty, Xuanwu is revered in Fujian. One story says that Xuanwu was originally a prince of Jing Le State in northern Hebei during the time of the Yellow Emperor. As he grew up, he felt the sorrow and pain of the life of ordinary people, another says that Xuanwu was originally a butcher who had killed many animals unremorsefully. As days passed, he felt remorse for his sins and repented immediately by giving up butchery, one day while he was assisting a woman in labor, while cleaning the woman’s blood stained clothes along a river, the words Dark Heavenly Highest Deity appeared before him. The woman in labor turned out to be a manifestation of the goddess Guanyin, to redeem his sins, he dug out his own stomach and intestines and washed them in the river.
The river turned into a dark, murky water, after a while, the river flowed pure again. Unfortunately, Xuanwu lost his stomach and intestines while he was washing them in the river, the Jade Emperor was moved by his sincerity and determination to clear his sins. The Jade Emperor made him an immortal with the title of Xuántiān Shàngdì, after he became an immortal, his stomach and intestines absorbed the essence of the earth. His viscera transformed into a turtle, and a demonic snake. No one could subdue the demonic animals, Xuanwu returned to earth to subdue them. After defeating them, he used them as his means of transportation. Xuanwu is sometimes portrayed with two generals standing besides him, General Wan Gong and General Wan Ma, the two generals are deities that handle many local issues from childrens birth, family matters as well as fengshui consultation. Another legend says that he borrowed the sword from Lü Dongbin to subdue a powerful demon, the sword itself would magically return to its owner if Xuanwu released it, so it is said that he always holds his sword tightly, and is unable to release it.
However, not only does he outrank Lü in terms of divinity, Xuanwu dates back longer in history than Lü Dongbin and he is usually seated on a throne with the right foot stepping on the snake and left leg extended stepping on the turtle
Independence Day (United States)
It declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States, Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it two days on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail, The second day of July,1776, I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, sports, bells, adamss prediction was off by two days. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2,1776, although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, James Monroe, another Founding Father who was elected as President, died on July 4,1831. He was the third President in a row who died on the anniversary of independence, calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4,1872, so far he is the only U. S.
President to have been born on Independence Day. In 1777 thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, ships in port were decked with red and blue bunting. In 1778, from his headquarters at Ross Hall, near New Brunswick, New Jersey, General George Washington marked July 4 with a ration of rum for his soldiers. Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, in 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5, in 1781 the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration. In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled The Psalm of Joy and this is recognized as the first recorded celebration and is still celebrated there today. In 1870 the U. S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees, in 1938 Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
Independence Day is a holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors, Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on day to appear at a public event to praise the nations heritage, history, society. Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue, many take advantage of the day off and, in some years, decorations are generally colored red and blue, the colors of the American flag
Museum of Chinese in America
The Museum of Chinese in America is a museum in New York City which exhibits Chinese American history. The museum moved to a new site at 215 Centre Street in 2009 and it increased in size by sixfold, in a space that was designed by architect Maya Lin. The curator and director of exhibitions as of May 31,2011 is Herb Tam, the permanent exhibition, With a Single Step was designed by Matter Practice. The Museum in January 2015 presented Waves of Identity,35 Years of Archiving, the title of the exhibit was inspired by a Chinese proverb, “Each wave of the Yangtze River pushes at the wave ahead. S. Collections and Research Center houses more than 65,000 artifacts, memorabilia, oral histories and this expansive array of archival material enriches the history of Chinese in America for our visitors in ways both rigorously academic and profoundly personal. Starr Scholars, Nancy Kwan, and William C,2014 honorees have included, Tyrus Wong Theodore T. Wang Victor and William Fung Foundation Ltd. Wang Community Health Center Anla Cheng Mark E
California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western coast of the U. S, California is bordered by the other U. S. states of Oregon and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. Los Angeles is Californias most populous city, and the second largest after New York City. The Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nations second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, California has the nations most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The Central Valley, an agricultural area, dominates the states center. What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its war for independence.
The western portion of Alta California was organized as the State of California, the California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom. If it were a country, California would be the 6th largest economy in the world, fifty-eight percent of the states economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5 percent of the states economy, the story of Calafia is recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián, written as a sequel to Amadis de Gaula by Spanish adventure writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The kingdom of Queen Calafia, according to Montalvo, was said to be a land inhabited by griffins and other strange beasts. This conventional wisdom that California was an island, with maps drawn to reflect this belief, shortened forms of the states name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA.
Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000. The Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their organization with bands, villages. Trade and military alliances fostered many social and economic relationships among the diverse groups, the first European effort to explore the coast as far north as the Russian River was a Spanish sailing expedition, led by Portuguese captain Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in 1542. Some 37 years English explorer Francis Drake explored and claimed a portion of the California coast in 1579. Spanish traders made unintended visits with the Manila galleons on their trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565
Taoism, known as Daoism, is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao. The Tao is an idea in most Chinese philosophical schools, in Taoism, however. Taoism differs from Confucianism by not emphasizing rigid rituals and social order, the Tao Te Ching, a compact book containing teachings attributed to Laozi, is widely considered the keystone work of the Taoist tradition, together with the writings of Zhuangzi. By the Han dynasty, the sources of Taoism had coalesced into a coherent tradition of religious organizations. In earlier ancient China, Taoists were thought of as hermits or recluses who did not participate in political life, Zhuangzi was the best known of these, and it is significant that he lived in the south, where he was part of local Chinese shamanic traditions. Women shamans played an important role in this tradition, which was strong in the southern state of Chu. Early Taoist movements developed their own institution in contrast to shamanism, shamans revealed basic texts of Taoism from early times down to at least the 20th century.
Institutional orders of Taoism evolved in various strains that in recent times are conventionally grouped into two main branches, Quanzhen Taoism and Zhengyi Taoism. After Laozi and Zhuangzi, the literature of Taoism grew steadily and was compiled in form of a canon—the Daozang—which was published at the behest of the emperor, throughout Chinese history, Taoism was nominated several times as a state religion. After the 17th century, however, it fell from favor, Chinese alchemy, Chinese astrology, Chan Buddhism, several martial arts, traditional Chinese medicine, feng shui, and many styles of qigong have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history. Beyond China, Taoism had influence on surrounding societies in Asia, Taoism has a presence in Hong Kong, and in Southeast Asia. English speakers continue to debate the preferred romanization of the words Daoism and Taoism, the root Chinese word 道 way, path is romanized tao in the older Wade–Giles system and dào in the modern Pinyin system. In linguistic terminology, English Taoism/Daoism is formed from the Chinese loanword tao/dao 道 way, route and the native suffix -ism.
The debate over Taoism vs. Daoism involves sinology, loanwords, Daoism is pronounced /ˈdaʊ. ɪzəm/, but English speakers disagree whether Taoism should be /ˈdaʊ. ɪzəm/ or /ˈtaʊ. ɪzəm/. In theory, both Wade–Giles tao and Pinyin dao are articulated identically, as are Taoism and Daoism, an investment book titled The Tao Jones Averages illustrates this /daʊ/ pronunciations widespread familiarity. In speech and Taoism are often pronounced /ˈtaʊ/ and ˈtaʊ. ɪzəm/, lexicography shows American and British English differences in pronouncing Taoism. Taoist philosophy or Taology, or the mystical aspect — The philosophical doctrines based on the texts of the I Ching, the Tao Te Ching and these texts were linked together as Taoist philosophy during the early Han Dynasty, but notably not before. It is unlikely that Zhuangzi was familiar with the text of the Daodejing, the discussed distinction is rejected by the majority of Western and Japanese scholars
Forbidden Gardens was an outdoor museum of Chinese culture and history located on Texas Highway 99 and Franz Road in northern Katy, Greater Houston, United States. The museum was funded and opened by businessman Ira Poon in 1996, Forbidden Gardens closed its doors in 2011. It originally cost $40 million to construct and only 40 of the 80 acres Poon bought were used, the Terracotta Army display was unique in that the statues were exposed to direct sunlight, unlike the sheltered originals, enabling excellent photography conditions. It was announced that the Forbidden Gardens would close its doors on February 21,2011, Terracotta soldiers were offered on Craigslist for $100 a soldier, sparking media attention. The warriors were pulled off Craigslist on February 9, with a note explaining that excess demand made it necessary, Forbidden Gardens website Review of visiting the Forbidden Gardens in 20091995 news article when it opened, and reference to publicity-shy owner The Grand Parkway Association Snyder, Mike.
Katy attraction succumbs to Grand Parkway