It is January 31 and the celebrations of the Lunar New Year have begun! You don’t have to be an astrology aficionado to know that 2014 is considered the Year of the Horse (the 12 animals and their order in the zodiac calendar were chosen according with a widespread legend, after participating in a great race which involved crossing a river).
More than this it is a ‘wood’ horse. In Chinese ‘wood’ (Wu Xing) sometimes translates as ‘tree’ and it is a yang character standing for springtime, east, colour green, blue…So, maybe with so many signs this is indeed the beginning of a great race – To the Springtime!
The main colour associated with the celebrations is red, standing for: prosperity, happiness and good fortune. I cannot think of a better flower now than the tree peony – Paeonia suffruticosa. Native from China, where it was considered The Emperor Flower, it was later introduced and equally revered in Japan as a symbol for social status, prosperity and good luck. Hence my digital collage for the celebration bringing together the most exquisite horse of all times (in my opinion) and one red peony – Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Taiyo’.
and everyone please read the lovely complementary legend about peonies added by garcanad in the comments area.