It is the popular phrase Vietnamese we say to each other on the first day of a new year. The phrase  means “Wishing you fortunate – Happy New year.”

Coming home from work at 10:30 pm, after my shower, I quickly prepared a plate of fruits and some flowers on a small altar in the living room. It is the thousand years tradition every Asian does on the New Year Eve. Asians, we never forget deceased family members and our ancestors, so the display of fruits, flowers and candles every New Year Eve is to show our gratitude and to remind younger generation of these connections and the purpose is also to pass this on to our children.

Personally, I doubt if my son and daughter will do this after I die. But for me, every New Year Eve, I have an urge to do it. It reminds me of my mother when she was alive. She always made sure we had to go the market early so we could pick the best flowers and lots of fruits for our altar. My children had so much fun with her on these trips. They helped her to set up the table so that in the end, she would reward them with little treats left over. In those day, the altar was huge, full and beautiful. Ever since she passed away 2002, as Ruggero and I  moved couple time, my altar get smaller and simpler.

Tonight again, even though I am so tired after another day busy at work, but I already lighted up the candles on my little altar to remember my dear mother. I am sure she understands my effort and will have a smile on her face.

The coming year is the Tiger Year. I myself is a tiger too. You know, in Asia, if you are a woman who is born in tiger year, men will stay away from you. They say that tiger women are bad for husband. When I was young and living under influence of this myth in Vietnam, I felt humiliated whenever someone asked and found out I am a tiger. But since I researched and read so many books about Eastern Culture and Astrology (both East and West, just out of my curiosity), I understand why. Actually, to have a tiger character, it fits me just well.

Anyway “Cung Hy Phat Tai” and” Chuc Mung Nam Moi” to all of my readers. Get ready for a very feisty year with plenty of competitions that will spark your interests in many directions. Peoples will have sudden urges and opportunities to show case their skills and talents. The creative juice will be fluid and strong. So let’s enjoy the ride and don’t forget that whatever happen, in the end, love in your heart and peace for your mind is what I am wishing for you all in the years to come.