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Friday, January 16, 2009

Will President Obama be seeing red?

On the day of his inauguration, it's certain that president-elect Barack Obama will be opening gifts from the leaders of other countries. France, for example, sent a 4.5-pound package of Roquefort cheese.

But would red underwear be appropriate to send the new president?

In China and other Asian countries, red underwear is one of the most popular gifts to give around the Chinese New Year, which falls on January 26 this year.

Markets and department stores stock the red underwear, generally sporting the pertinent zodiac animal. This year, it will be an ox, which by the way is Obama's zodiac sign.

According to lore, it's even more critical for someone born under the current zodiac sign to wear red to help ward off dangers that may come his or her way, because the "benming nian" (or the meeting of one's zodiac year) can be an unlucky year.

So, if there's any advice I can offer to Obama on his inauguration day, it would be to open the gift from China (or Taiwan) first.

In case they didn't send any, we've got him covered!

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