05-R 054

2005 -- S 0370

Enacted 02/09/05


S E N A T E  R E S O L U T I O N





     Introduced By: Senators Issa, Walaska, McBurney, and Pichardo

     Date Introduced: February 09, 2005




     WHEREAS, The most important and popular of Chinese festivals, the date of the New

Year celebration is fixed traditionally according to the Chinese lunar calendar as the second new

moon after the winter solstice. This year the celebration falls on February 9, 2005.

     WHEREAS, No one is certain how far back New Year celebrations go in Chinese

history. Their religious background involves clearing away the bad luck of the old year and

beginning a new one. It was also believed that the various "god-like" spirits had to report on the

past year to the ruler of heaven, the Jade Emperor. Many Chinese still open celebrations by

burning a paper image of Tsao Wang, the hearth god, thus sending him on his way one week

before the new year; and

     WHEREAS, Usually on the day before New Year's Eve, men pay ceremonial visits to

friends and associates, wishing them luck with the traditional greeting kung-hsi fa-ts'ai, meaning

"Happy greetings and may you gather wealth." On the last day of the year, final preparations are

made for the family's New Year's Eve feast, the highlight of the celebration. Before the meal, all

doors are sealed with strips of paper to prevent the entrance of evil, and no one may enter or leave

until these are removed shortly before dawn. After the meal, gifts are exchanged and, at

midnight, solemn greetings and family ceremonies take place; and

     WHEREAS, Traditionally, the festivities last 15 days until the Lantern Festival, a time

for parades of elaborate paper lanterns and street dances by dragons or lions. New Year is also a

time for giving alms to the poor and for eating special lucky foods; and

     WHEREAS, Each Chinese year is popularly known by one of the 12 animals of the

Chinese Zodiac. These names provided a ready reference because each is used only once in 12

years. This year will be celebrated as "The Year of the Rooster"; now, therefore, be it

     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

hereby recognizes the celebration of the Chinese New Year -- "The Year of the Rooster". This

senate also wishes to extend its deepest respect and appreciation to the Rhode Island Chinese

community for all that it has contributed to the rich diversity of Rhode Island culture. The

closeness of the traditional Chinese family, its dynamic work ethic, and its innumerable

endowments to literature and the performing arts inspire us all; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Mr. Louis Yip.