#Haikai Challenge #123 (1/26/20): first sparrows [twittering] (hatsusuzume) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

Photo by daniyal ghanavati on Pexels.com

Thank you for honoring the dream, haijin. Congratulations to last week’s contributors:

Haikai Challenge Participants
1. Pat R
2. Jane Dougherty
3. Peter
4. Eugenia
5. Jade Li/Lisa
6. Janice

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The Lunar New Year began yesterday. The year of the rat has begun:

The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.

The Rat is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) Zi (子) and the midnight hours. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Rat is yang and represents the beginning of a new day.

In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.

courtesy “Chinese New Year 2020”

Now, I’ll be honest with you: I don’t like rats. As a native New York backyarder, I have little use for them. Fortunately, when I stepped outside the house, I heard the chirping of birds. Even more fortunate, first sparrows twittering (hatsusuzume) is a new year’s kigo.

What better way to acknowledge the Lunar New Year?

This week, write the haikai poem of your choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that states or alludes to first sparrows twittering (hatsusuzume).

As always:

Here’s how the challenge works:

1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.

Happy Lunar New Year, haijin!

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