The New Moon "emerged" on Saturday at 3:55 pm (Eastern Time)--ushering-in the Lunar New Year and The Year of the Rabbit.
A "New Moon" is the opposite of a Full Moon—that is, the time when no illuminated disk is visible (to the naked eye) from Earth. In fact, during a New Moon, the Moon is positioned precisely between the Sun and the Earth. When the Sun and the Earth are on opposite sides of the Moon, we on Earth cannot see the illuminated side of the Moon (which is facing the Sun).
It takes 29.5 days for the Moon to circle (orbit) the Earth, during which time the Moon completes its cycle of "phases": from New Moon (invisible) to Full Moon and back to a New Moon (invisible) again. This is called "the waxing and waning" of the Moon. Ancient societies marked their months by the completion of these 29.5 day cycles. Eventually, some months were lengthened (and leap days added) to make a calendar year more accurately comport with the actual orbit time of the Earth around the Sun (365 days, 5 hours, 59 minutes and 16 seconds).
For many cultures, a New Moon signifies rebirth or new beginnings. This new beginning is most joyously celebrated at the Lunar New Year—the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice (approximately 21 December). Thus, the date of the Lunar New Year varies yearly (though it always falls between 21 January and 20 February).
In traditional Asian cultures, the Lunar New Year (sometimes called Chinese New Year) is the biggest holiday celebration of the year. Billions of people will travel long distances to celebrate the annual festivities with their families. The Lunar New Year also marks the beginning of a new Asian Zodiac character. 2023 is The Year of the Rabbit (as were 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011). People born under The Sign of the Rabbit are lucky, clever, talented, affectionate and capable of cultivating close relationships with others. Rabbits are also known "to fill their homes with beautiful artwork and decorative objects." Rabbits will enjoy a lucky year in 2023. Additionally, 2023 features the element of Water. People born under the sign of the Water Rabbit (which last occurred in 1963) are in for an especially lucky year. Water Rabbits are known for being able to turn-around unfortunate events. I was born in 1963 and am all-too-eager to put by Zodiac superpowers to work!
The hare, shown above, awaits his most lucky year. He is cast in brass and finished with a verdigris bronze patina. Click on the photo above to learn more about him.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248