The 2022 Chinese pocket almanac is here! And the cover means a lot
Our favorite little Chinese pocket almanac is here! From husband-and-wife team Ken Smith and Joanna Lee, the almanac gives fun dos and don'ts for each day of the year based on traditional agrarian life in China. For instance, on April 13 of next year, don't even think about renovating a kitchen, building a stove, or cutting wood. But you will want to hold a ritual, dismantle a building, and clean your house.
We're extra excited for 2022 because the beautiful cover art is by none other than our friend Kam Mak. Kam is the talented artist behind the recently completed 12-year installment of Lunar New Year U.S. postage stamps, the author and illustrator of the beautiful children's book "My Chinatown," and a former Pearl River artist-in-residence.
Not only is Kam's cover art gorgeous, it's full of meaning. For instance, the fish represent wealth and prosperity because the Chinese word for fish, "yu," sounds like the one for "abundance." Two gold fish swimming atop ingots (an ancient form of currency) is the ultimate good luck sign.
As for the chubby baby, he symbolizes wealth, happiness, and longevity. A baby with fish is a common motif in Lunar New Year decorations. On the bottom right you'll see peaches, which are symbols of immortality and unity. On the bottom left and below the baby's foot are lotus flowers, which stand for purity. On the top left is a gourd, traditionally believed to ward off evil spirits.
How about those bats? While they may be considered creepy in Western culture, they're lucky in Chinese — literally! The pronunciation of bat in Chinese, “fú,” is the same as that of “blessing."
Want to learn more? Check out the almanac on our website.