Year of the Tiger starts Black History Month

Tom, Pam and Everald in China Town 2019. Photo by Vinette K. Pryce
Tom, Pam and Everald in China Town 2019.
Photo by Vinette K. Pryce

Instead of the annual roar of excitement that annually usher in the Chinese lunar new year, some members of the Asian community will growl the Feb. 1 arrival of the Year of the Tiger.

“I do not intend to venture out,” Pam Lee, a longtime resident of Manhattan’s China Town said.

“Every year I usually eat out at one of my favorite restaurants, follow the dragon parades, invite friends to dim sum brunch and give out a few red envelopes but not this year, no.”

Lee’s tamped down attitude is driven primarily by fear from contamination of the Omicron variants of COVID-19 and also the recent spate of attacks against Asians.

Andrew — (who asked anonymity) runs a nail salon in Williamsburg. He was born in China, raised in the Phillippines and spent much of his adulthood in Vancouver, Canada. This year he said he will defer from tradition, close the salon to patrons but will remain at home on the first day of the holiday.

“I usually take my family to China Town in Queens where we usually feast., this year, no…it’s not safe.”

Heng Lo, from Malaysia is even more cautious. He will take some days off from work as a patient advocate but will not meet up with the usual crowd that shares his tradition.

Pam Lee on Chinese New Year.Photo by Vinette K. Pryce

Instead he plans to reminisce the years he lived in Mainland China by talking on the phone, cooking and reconnecting with loved ones in Thailand and his homeland. Lo resides in Manhattan, walking distance from his workplace.
“I work from home on Tuesday anyway and go in to the hospital four days a week so “I will cook my favorite meals, make phone calls and revel with nostalgic reminders from photographs of good times I shared in the past.”

“This new variant is even more contagious,” he said “the Delta was bad but the hospital is full of patients like never before…when will this end?”

Lo said since the celebration begins on Feb. 1 and extends 15 days he probably will enjoy a prolonged appreciation of this year’s promise of “new beginning.”

It’s been three consecutive years since abnormal conditions have interfered with the zodiac traditions practiced by the most populous people in the world. Although a reported 87 percent of businesses have re-opened after shuttering to the pandemic in 2020, tourists are still apprehensive to return to the lower Manhattan community where thriving, businesses reliably prevailed.

Reportedly sales of red lanterns, red, gift envelopes, bouquets, food items, fireworks and other shoppers’ delights are significantly down.

“I plan to keep a low profile,” Lee added.

As a Jamaican-Chinese she said she cheer on Olympians competing in Beijing, China, regale Reggae Month in Jamaica and watch “plenty of PBS-TV’s coverage of Black History.”

According to Miraclein — Biblical miracles, a calendar phenomenon records that this month an there will be an exact amount of each of the seven days of the week.

Four Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays — and it’s not even a leap year.

Allegedly, the rarity occurs every 823 years.

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