The year of the rabbit kicks off today, but auspicious rabbit-themed books, ornaments, costumes, and other items have been on sale for months. Eco Publishing Co., Ltd. has also published a poster book titled Spending the Rabbit Year in Grandeur 《大過兔年》.
The preface of the book says that, “Rabbits in the wild are very agile. They have long ears, and so have acute hearing, they are nimble, with quick reactions, and they are fast runners. These features make rabbits a perfect symbol for the increasing speed of fiber-optics in the new year.”
The Shuowen Jiezi《說文解字》, the earliest Chinese character dictionary, dating from the East Han period in the early 2nd century, explains the word “yi” (逸), the word for “rapid,” in terms of one of its radicals, rabbit, “tu” (兔). In other words, people felt even back in ancient times that the most prominent characteristic of rabbits was their speed. Modern science has shown that a rabbit can run at speeds of 70km per hour, at least as fast as a horse. The Chinese simile “as fast as a rabbit in flight” (動如脫兔) is clearly based in fact.
Photo courtesy of Eco Publishing Co., Ltd.
Rabbits were domesticated by humans later than other animals, such as horses, oxen, goats, fowl, dogs, and pigs. Nevertheless, given their mild and friendly disposition, the rabbit has been elevated to the status of an auspicious animal.
The Lantern Festival, which begins on Jan. 17 this year, will feature a masterpiece lantern titled “Lucky Jade Rabbit” (玉兔呈祥). The jade rabbit is one of the earliest objects of worship celebrated during the Mid-Autumn Festival, going back to ancient times, but it was later replaced by the Chinese legend of Chang-e (嫦娥), the girl in the moon. According to folklore, Chang-e then also became a goddess of childbirth, perhaps thanks to the connection with the rabbit, as rabbits are known for being prodigiously fertile.
The book features a total of 12 posters designed to bring good luck and happiness. They include woodblock prints of “The Door God Shen Shu” and “The Door God Yu Lyu,” paper cuttings of “Best Wishes for a Propitious New Year” and “Auspicious Bunny,” posters of “Chronology of the Rabbit in Chinese Cultural History” and “One Hundred Lucky Rabbits,” a folk art painting entitled “Happy Rabbits Ushering in the Year of the Rabbit,” another group of paper floral cuttings called “Ten Flower-Clusters,” and woodblock prints of “Harmony Brings Fortune” and “He He Twin Deities.” Then there are some examples of stylized Chinese calligraphy called “Artistic Renditions of Chinese Characters in the Folk Art Tradition,” and paper cuttings entitled “Four Flower-Cluster,” an indigo dye print illustrating “The Deer and Crane Announcing the Coming of Spring,” and clay figurines of “The Rabbit Lord.”
Photo courtesy of Eco Publishing Co., Ltd.
— Written and compiled by Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times
今年一月十七日舉辦的「台灣燈會」主燈「玉兔呈祥」中的玉兔，根據《大過兔年》的描述，玉兔是中秋的祭祀對象之一，最早的拜月即是拜玉兔；後來誕生了嫦娥奔月的故事，嫦娥取代玉兔的地位，月中女神還成為民間的生育之神，這又得歸功於兔子 — 牠的生育力和老鼠一樣無與倫比。
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
A: Hello, I’d like to book a table for two please. For 7 o’clock, if possible. B: Certainly, sir. Let me see if I can fit you in. I’m afraid we’re fully booked at that time, but we do have a space at 8pm. A: No problem, 8pm will be fine. B: Thank you. I‘ve reserved you a table for two for 8pm. Just to let you know, we operate a “bring your own” policy for wine, and corkage is NT$50 per bottle. A: OK. See you later on. A: 你好，我想要訂位，兩個人，方便的話晚上七點。 B: 好的，先生。讓我看看能不能幫您安排座位。不好意思，我們那段時間的訂位滿了，不過晚上八點還有空位。 A: 沒問題，晚上八點可以。 B: 謝謝您。我幫您預約晚上八點，兩個人的座位。另外，提醒您本餐廳關於「自行帶酒」的規定，每瓶酒酌收新台幣五十元開瓶費。 A: 好的。我們晚點見。 （Edward Jones,
Let’s dine out tonight (3/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（三） A: Hmm. . . I can’t decide what to order. I’m hesitating between a lamb rogan josh or a beef vindaloo. B: Well, let’s order both and share the dishes. We can also order the tandoori king prawns that I was just eyeing up. A: The prawn dish will perfectly complement the bottle of Australian Chardonnay that I’ve brought along. It’s a great wine, with notes of peaches and lemongrass. B: Cool! Let’s also order some butter naan bread and pilau rice for two. A: 嗯……我無法決定要點哪一道菜。我正在猶豫要點喀什米爾羊肉咖哩，還是辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。 B: 啊，那我們兩個都點，然後分著吃吧。我們還可以點一份坦都里香料烤明蝦，我剛剛一直在看這道菜。 A: 這道明蝦應該能完美搭配我帶來的這瓶澳洲夏多內白葡萄酒。這瓶酒真的很棒哦，帶有桃子和檸檬草的香氣。 B: 酷！那我們也點一些奶油烤餅，和兩人份的香料米飯吧。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） WARNING: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (5/5)
坐我的新車去兜風吧（五） A: Can you hear a strange noise? B: Now you mention it, I can hear a faint whirring sound. Also, there’s a slight whiff of burnt rubber. A: Uh-oh! I’d better pull over and take a look... OK, sit tight. I’ll pop the hood and take a look at the engine. B: What’s the prognosis? A: I think the fan belt has worn out and caused the engine to overheat. I’d better call a mechanic... A: 你有聽到一種奇怪的噪音嗎？ B: 既然你說了，我確實有聽到微弱的低沉呼呼聲。另外，我還聞到一點點燒焦的橡膠味。 A: 哦哦！我最好停車檢查一下……。好，你坐穩，我要把引擎蓋打開，看看引擎有沒有問題。 B: 你推斷的病情是什麼？ A: 我想應該是風扇的皮帶破損了，導致引擎過熱。我最好打個電話給維修人員……。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文: