Celebrate 2008 Year of the Rat with red rat-themed panties!

Thanks to the Internet that allows us to travel and educate ourselves without getting out of our pajamas, today we can be privy into lifestyles and traditions of radically different cultures. And, when culture and superstitions blend, it’s almost impossible not to have an an interestingly strange (if not explosively bizarre) outcome: believing that wearing red panties with rats on them will bring you good fortune, for example.

That’s exactly what’s happening in Malaysia: Chinese women are buying red panties — this year with rat motifs — in order to get lucky as the Chinese Year of the Rat is about to begin on February 7. They say if you really believe in something, it will probably come true and if wearing red panties will strengthen your belief, why the heck not, eh!?

The Chinese new year is celebrated with a bang throughout the world. Most Chinese cities will have a 3-day public holiday to bring in the new year, and Chinatowns around the world will rejoice the beginning of the rat year through parades, firework displays, multi-course banquets and parties. Unlike the rest of us, the Chinese party for a good month post their new year’s day.

The Lunar Calendar determines the Chinese New Year. Although the western calendar is what’s mainly referred to by the Chinese, the zodiac Lunar Calendar still holds much importance.

I have never followed the Chinese calendar nor do I entirely understand it, but I do know that according to it I’m a monkey. The last Chinese Year of the Monkey was 2004, so if it’s a 12-year cycle, I suppose I’ll be celebrating in 2016?