Wednesday, 21 February 2018

spring cleaning

Conversely to the celebrations that dominate the fifth day that placate the god of wealth, the sixth day of the lunar new year—as our faithful chronicler Doctor Caligari informs—is reserved for the ghost of poverty Gao Yang (颛顼), grandson of the Yellow Emperor.
Credited with the invention of the calendar and zodiac, the legendary ruler garnered the reputation of being a peculiar spendthrift despite enormous wealth and the charity of his subjects, this day marks the end of festivities and the return to business—in order to stave off destitution—in many jurisdictions and involve idiosyncratic domestic rituals to send the spirit packing, including making sure that one’s washroom is presentable for supernatural inspection though major cleaning undertakings happen a few days prior to the New Year. Also, on this day in 1972, just like the old Vulcan proverb proscribes, Richard M Nixon visited China—the first time a US president was hosted in a nation with no formal diplomatic connections—and met with Chairman Mao Zedong in order to normalise Sino-American relations.