Bebe Taian: Happy Year of the Dragon!

January 23, 2012

Happy Year of the Dragon!

So, I've been here 24 years. Technically, according to the old Chinese system (which once counted the 10 months in the womb to be the first year), 25 years. I was born when rabbits become dragons. I guess I fit the bill. A love for the finer things, generally a peacemaker, but business oriented and cutthroat if someone impinges on my free will or desires.

I have the perfect new obi. A hot pink, black, and metallic gold dragon Nagoya obi. I had the hardest time figuring out what to wear with it because pink is not my usual colour. I only just remembered that I have a black summer kimono which I think is technically not mofuku, due to the thin silver threads in some sections. Even so, with the right collar and some tall boots, I think it would work. As short as it is on me, I can probably tie it so that it is knee-length, and wear the Nagoya obi in a variation of the otaiko. I'm so excited about this one!

Today marks the Year of the Dragon. Once, this was the beginning of the year in Japan (technically, depending on how the calender fell, there would be two New Years- the turning of the date on the lunar cycle, and the solar new year, Setsubun).

This day is also the first day of 'Mutsuki'. Mutsuki means 'month of affection', a meaning close to 'being in harmony' or 'being on friendly terms'. It is a day when friends go to visit each other, when family gets together, etc. Today, I think Mutsuki is now considered to be aligned with January 1st, but traditionally, this is the day. The name 'mutsuki' is still understood, but is no longer used except for in greeting cards and such. New Years' Day as it is celebrated today was introduced in 1948, although the Gregorian calender has been adopted in Japan since the late 1800s, during the Meiji era.

This month is the end beginning of bamboo changing to the plum blossoms of February. Think deep greens and white, becoming royal purples, reds, and white. For older women, perhaps more muted colours, such as pinks and dusty purples. Clothing is lined throughout the season, and tabi are generally worn. Break out your favourite seasonal kimono!

Happy New Year (again), everyone!

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