Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy New Year of the Tiger!

In case you didn't know, the Chinese New Year starts on 14th February this year. If you are 36 or 48 or 60 (or other multiples of 12) years old this year, then it's your year, Tiger! Join such famous people as Marco Polo, Beethoven and Marx, and be prepared for lots of good fortune, energy and power, as well as 'virility, prowess and cunning', as shown by theTiger Man, courtesy of Utopia.  
Like Christmas in the West, this is a time for family reunions. Out-of-town workers have been going home since the start of the 40-day travel season end of January.

That's why there have been long queues at main railway stations to buy tickets, and even more pushing and squeezing to get on a train. It is estimated that 210 million train journeys and 29 million plane trips will be made in the 40 days, that's almost the whole of the population of the USA on the go! Luckily I just have to drive my car for less an hour to get to my old family home.
Also like Christmas, it's a time for eating, eating and eating! I've already had several dinners and reunions with friends and relatives whom we don't normally have time to meet during the rest of the year. I've also made several shopping trips to local markets and supermarkets to prepare for eating and cooking at home.

Every family will make dumplings, whereas the richer ones will splash out on a banquet at a restaurant. However, although business will be brisk, the owners, as well as flower and chocolate sellers say it's a disaster for them that Valentine's day is also at this time.

According to the fortune tellers, it's not a good year for marriage, this year being a so-called widow year, so there has been a last minute rush to get married in the old bull year. If you didn't make it in time, you'll just have to live in sin and/or keep up the Valentine romance for the rest of the new year. And if you're lucky (or unlucky) enough to be single, and you're looking for a mate, then beware of those tigers (and tigresses)out there, especially the beautiful young 24-yr olds, they could be strong, aggressive and difficult to tame. 

New Year decorations and papercuts will be put up everywhere, with red being the favourite lucky colour of course. Even used coke cans have their uses, as the model of the China pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, beginning this May, shows.

Tigers can be seen in every shape and size. And my younger relatives are all waiting for me to give them red packets, hong bao, or lucky money.
This is my last blog for the old year, and I've covered a whole range of topics which I hope you have found interesting. Do let me know if there is anything you want me to tell you more about. I look forward to being in touch with you again in the new year.

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year and thanks for another year of great posts.