Friday, January 20, 2012

Preparing for Chinese New Year

It is no secret that this weekend marks the Spring Festival here in China. Even though it is called "Spring" it lands right smack in the middle of winter! We often refer to it as Chinese New Year. I have to say, being in China for this will be exciting. I hear it will also be LOUD all night, every night for quite sometime. I am sure this will quickly make the luster for the occasion diminish.

It is nice, so far, that the city is a little more low key. Today many, many businesses are closed and traffic is lighter. This brings a sense of calmness, although the feeling of holiday anticipation is in the air.

 This tree is adorned with red envelopes. These envelopes are given to the unmarried family members with money in them on the first day of the new year. Our kids already told us that they are expecting to participate in this tradition.

 Above are Spring Couplets written by E. They are good wishes for our family for the upcoming year. Many also put 'door Gods" on their front door to keep ghosts and monsters away.

 This festival is similar to our Christmas holiday where gifts are given. The above kiosk has been set up to sell different trinkets and food items to be given as gifts. You can see that RED is the color of choice, as it symbolizes good luck for the new year.

All over the city I have seen window displays of red, including many lingerie displays. I asked my Chinese friend why all the read underwear? She explained that if you are the zodiac sign of the new year, this will be the year of the dragon, you wear red underwear under your clothes. 

My children and hubby are off for the entire week to come. This is a treat considering we just had a long break during Christmas. Look forward to many blog posts of our Chinese New Year adventures this week! 

Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy year of the dragon!

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