Festivities in Kobe’s Chinatown during the first weekend of February celebrated Shunsetsu, and the start of the year of the Rabbit. Beginning February 3rd with the new moon (to end January 22nd, 2012), Rabbit years are said to be for catching one’s breath after the dynamism of the Tiger. This year’s Rabbit is associated with the element metal, so the fluffy bunny may have a bit of a sharp edge (perhaps dulled a little by the fact that it’s yin metal, not yang this year)! Nankin-machi was thronged with visitors all weekend long, and on display were performances of dance, acrobatics, tai chi, as well as the famous lion and dragon dances.

Here’s to a calm year of licking our wounds and mending fences!