Wow, what crap weather today. Why are Tuesday's so crappy? Is it just Irish roads that gets jammed up with the slightest hint of rain? Well, it could be worse, my friend Kieran tasted the cold winter in Beijing when he took a trip down to Tianamen Sq.. But another friend of mine Derek is at the ice festival up north, a bit nippy at a cosy -20 degrees celcius.
This is my friend Derek at Harbin. Amazing sculptures! (More of his pics at http://flickr.com/photos/derekindalian/)
I suppose the guys are having so much fun, they probably haven't heard much of the HN51 in Asia. Worrying enough, recent news mentioned that there could be an endemic in HK!
With all the madness of the run up to the Chinese New Year with prices of chicken going as high as HK$200, normal price is HK$20-40. It's no wonder many folks were trying to get as many poultry into the territory. My uncle ended working New Year's just because of the over-ordering of poultry, and had to be sent back (since HK don't allow imported poultry to stay in HK). But on a lighter note, the lantern festival is still happening in HK.
The Radiant Romance lantern show will light up Kowloon Park January 20 to February 26 to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
An interesting article I found about threats to traditional Chinese celebrations?. Many taboos for Chinese New Year are already lost for all us bananas (heh), I mean overseas Chinese. But this is still true back in the Far East. Younger generations just go an enjoy themselves, with so much influences of the west. It's a shame really. Face was mentioned in the article, I really hate the way face is important in Chinese society. It's snobbiness, but it's all part and parcel of being Chinese. Not very auspicious attitude, right? But everyone enjoys these traditional celebrations. In fact many overseas Chinese embrace it (even if we don't keep with all the aspects). It's great to be celebrating with family, visiting relatives. Something to be happy about. Ok, red packets are on the minds of kids, but curiousity of many young people are aintrigued on where this all come from. With the Chinese Channel on satellite nowadays, many can see what is happening back in the Far East. Everyone gathers together to watch tv like they do in HK as well. It brings us all closer. So I agree with the article that just becuase traditions are changed slightly, does not mean that the traditional celebrations will be lost.
But being the Year of the Dog, according to the lunar calendar... we have 13 months! From Asian-pacific news :
The lunar year begins Jan. 29 and lasts 385 days, till Feb. 17, 2007. It includes an extra month between the seventh and eighth months, and two 'lichun' days -- which mark the beginning of spring -- on Feb. 4 of 2006 and 2007.
Now that is long! And I can still get married in the year of dog.
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