Wednesday Feb 9 was Lunar New Year. This was celebrated by the Chinese as well as the Vietnamese, Koreans, and the Mongolians, which constitute the majority of the Far East. The obvious exception are the Japanese, which in 1873 adopted the Gregorian calendar, thus making January 1 their new year.
Of note is that it is the year 4703. The Chinese culture has spanned this entirety largely intact, despite the rise and fall of several dynasties and occupations. This is appreciation is often unrecognized, that the Chinese "empire" is one of Culture and not of direct conquest. In fact China has been invaded and conquered by its neighbor many times, but each time China's culture has converted and assimilated the "foreigners" into Chinese. Similarly, the Vietnamese, Koreans, the Mongolians and the Japanese have maintained their distinctive national (as in Nation, a cultural distinctive people) identity for a similar historical span despite their own political flux and despite proximity to China.
Unfortunately, my internet connection was down until last night thus i am late with this post.
Happy New Year.