Big excitement here! It is Chinese New Year's Eve on Sunday, which means that for many the holiday begins tonight. Not for everyone, of course, and obviously not for Vicars! Nevertheless, there is a definite atmosphere as we approach the Year of the Ox.
Christmas is celebrated here, but Chinese New Year more so. Christmas gets two days of holiday. Chinese New Year three. There is real significance and traditions attached to each of the days of the New Year celebration, which goes on longer than the official holiday itself; much in the way Christmas goes on for many days in the west.
This is one of the best times for me. As it is not a specifically Christian holiday, I have no special services and so get a bit of a break myself. One thing I am intending to do is to read a book that has been co-authored by Michael Bird and James Crossley entitled: How did Christianity begin?
Michael is an evangelical Christian and James - well, he is neither, but the two obviously get on. James I don't know, but Michael's blog is one of my favourite's. The guy is amazing in both the quality, directness and accessibility of his writing and also in its freshness, originality, and, at times, inspiration.
His blog is called Euangelion
It is mainly directed at those with an interest in New Testament studies.
Meanwhile, may I wish all the readers of this blog a very Happy Year of the Ox!