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Once upon a time on a Chinese New Year

Have an auspicious Year of the Ox, everybody. And to celebrate it in style, fleetingly alleviating our burden in these times of trouble, let’s plunge into a dream within a dream, going back to the future for a game-changing moment in Chinese history.   

Chinese New Year’s Day, 1272.  At the time, that fell on January 18.  Kublai Khan, after issuing an imperial edict, establishes the official beginning of the Yuan dynasty in China.   

That may have been a Chinese-style dynasty in all its accouterments, set up according to millenary rituals and following a classic structure. But the people who were running the show were definitely the sons of the steppe: the Mongols.