Monday, February 23, 2015

Celebrating Chinese New Year in China

Growing up in Indiana and living in Texas and Idaho, I didn't have much opportunity to learn about or celebrate the biggest and grandest of all Chinese Celebrations, Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. That all changed this year.

Red, Gold and Goats/sheep are to be seen everywhere, inside and out!

This is the huge decoration on the main plaza.

We walked around the plaza to see the decorations on a cold, sunny Sunday.

Every town we have visited has had red lanterns hanging everywhere.

The decorations remind me of the USA at Christmas time.

I understand the reason for all the red and gold is their tradition of scaring off the Evil and Vicious, man-eating monster Nian. Many years ago, on the coldest day of winter, the villagers scared Nian away with the bright colors of red and loud noises of banging drums and bight fireworks.  

The gold in the celebration is for money and good fortune in the coming new year.

I took the opportunity to decorate our apartment appropriately in red and gold.

My rotating Lantern in the living room also celebrates the Lantern Festival which starts on New Years Day and goes for a week. 

Good luck Red and Gold Chili peppers....

Sheep/Rams to celebrate the new year...

Intricate window cut outs loaded with good luck symbols to decorate the windows for the next 4 or 5 months....

Doors of both homes and businesses are decorated in red and gold wording,  poetry wishing good luck to the family with a placard bearing a good luck wish and an apple for good health and fortune in the coming new year.

Many celebrations and cultural shows take place at this time. Darryl and I ran into two members of a performing troupe outside the theater.

All of the celebrations start 2 or 3 weeks before the actual New Year/ Spring festival day and last for a month. Many stores and business have been closed for days in preparations for the celebrations. What a fun time to be in China.

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