Drawing by Margarit Ralev, Ralev.com - 2004 / university project

I didn't know that it was going to be the Year of the Rabbit until my sister pointed it out to me last week. When she told me I thought, yeah - that's right, it's totally going to be my year. For the first time in a long time I am gearing up some big plans and I am very excited about what this year will bring. I think it will be full of surprises and new adventures and it has already been an incredible year with the launch of my new site and a brand new relationship with my half sister! (Just like Oprah, right?)

The Rabbit is a lucky sign and while rabbits are good teachers and communicators, they also need their own space. That does sound like me. Here is the complete description of the sign:

The Rabbit Sign Years: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.

Yesterday in New York City they held the annual Chinese New Year's parade. Have you ever been to this event? It's quite a festival, with the tiny streets of Chinatown packed with people and dragons dancing all over and in and out of the businesses. I wasn't there this year, but I have been there in past years and it is something to see. it's one of the most chaotic and intense street celebrations I've been to.

Photo Credit: Gabi Porter. Visit MetroMix NY for more photos.

Here are a couple of shots from my archives that I took in New York's Chinatown. It's a vibrant place full of colors and noise, and one of my favorite places in the city.

In China, the Lunar New Year is the most important date on the calendar and hundreds of millions of people travel to celebrate it with family and friends.  Check out these photos of people travelling and celebrating over the last few weeks. (Full set from The Big Picture at Boston.com)

A passenger sleeps in a train from Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, to Baotou, a city in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, at the Beijing West Railway Station January 28, 2011. January 19 marked the beginning of the annual Spring Festival travel rush. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

A woman carries a sleeping child to a waiting area at Guangzhou station January 30, 2011. The movement of hundreds of millions of Chinese for the Lunar New Year, the country's most important holiday, is considered the biggest annual mass human migration in the world. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Fireworks explode over Xinghai Square to celebrate Chinese New Year February 4, 2011 in Dalian, China, in Liaoning Province. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

Dancers perform at the Dongyue Temple as they celebrate the Lunar New Year February 5, 2011 in Beijing. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

A rabbit year is characterized by gentleness, wisdom and tranquility. I hope this year brings you those things and more! What is your Chinese Zodiac sign? Let me know in the comments! Milo is a dog and Quinn is a rat. Chris is a sheep (aka ram or goat) and I am apparently highly compatible with dogs and sheep. Not with rats though. Hmmm, telling I think!