James Duvalier

author, spiritual counselor & paranormal researcher


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Asian Traditions

Chuseok: An Autumn Festival of Remembrance and Thanksgiving

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We are well into September and fast approaching the autumnal equinox and the Harvest Festival of Mabon.  As I have mentioned many times before, this is my absolute favorite time of year!  September and October have always been months of pure beauty and magic for me.  It is a time to enjoy all the gifts the earth has given us and to offer thanks in return.  For this reason many autumn harvest festivals exist throughout the world. …
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The Lucky Buddha

GOLDENLuckyBuddha

Anybody who knows me knows that I love Chinese food.  Everything from traditional dishes from different regions of China to classic Americanized Chinese food, I eat it all.  I’ve spent many fun nights with friends and family getting takeout and having long leisurely dinners in kitschy 1950’s style Tiki-Polynesian-Chinese themed restaurants.  One decoration that is ubiquitous in such establishments is the fat, smiling laughing Buddha known popularly as the Lucky Buddha.  Sometimes he is presented as simply…
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Chinese New Year: The Year of the Rooster

Chinese New Year

New Year’s Eve and Day have always been fun for me.  I love the idea of ushering in the New Year through a night of celebration that does not have the commercial overtones of Christmas.  I celebrate and love Christmas as well but I feel that it should be a time of deep spiritual reflection, charity and kindness towards others rather than the materialism with which it has become associated in the modern age.  New Year’s is…
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P’chum Ben: A Celebration of the Ancestors

P'chum Ben Candles

I attended elementary school and high school in Amherst, Massachusetts where there is a large Cambodian community and every April we would have a school celebration for Cambodian New Year where students would perform traditional Cambodian dances. My favorite was always the Monkey Dance in which the participants would fly acrobatically through the air imitating monkeys. We would also eat Cambodian foods and listen to Khmer folktales. Years later, when I was working as a 5th grade…
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Chinese Lantern Festival

taiwan-lantern-festival-2015-10

One February morning many years ago, I walked into my first grade classroom to find it decked out with a plethora of red, ornately decorated glowing lanterns. As morning meeting got underway, our teacher explained that it was the Chinese Lantern Festival which marked the first full moon of the traditional Chinese calendar and was the culmination of the Chinese New Year festivities bringing a glorious end to fifteen days of feasting and celebration. As we listened,…
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