Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, celebrations officially began last night with incredible fireworks and an international televised "gala" displaying the best of China's talent.  We enjoyed both from the warm, cozy home we have here in Suzhou on the 11th floor of a high rise apartment building with 3 sides of windows.....perfect for watching a bazillion fireworks.  Unfortunately, I did not get my camera out to take any photos of all the wonderful displays but rest assured that we thoroughly enjoyed them. 
 The Chinese have a very old custom (ok....they are all really old and they have a lot of customs but.....) that loud noises and the color red will scare off any bad spirits that may be hanging around so that is how they begin the new year-lots and lots of fireworks and red decorations everywhere.  There were fireworks and firecrackers going off pretty much all day yesterday but they really got going full blast at about 11 and went strong until about 1am.  Midnight was the pinnacle for sure.  Today there have been sporadic bursts of loud noises as well but not near yesterday's levels.  
The Chinese also place red banners or signs on their doors to express what they hope for in the new year.  These are placed not only on private homes but also onto entrances into businesses, apartment complexes, and even cities and villages.  We tried our hand at this last year while we were still in Aiken but this year we have a better understanding and friends to help us with our calligraphy.   We made our signs earlier this week and placed them on our door.  They will remain until the end of the Spring Festival celebrations in 2 weeks which culminates with the Lantern Festival.  (another blog post for sure).
Here's a little peak into our home.
The bottom 3 are some traditional Chinese wishes and the top 2 are just a few we wanted to include.  

This was pretty sweet-Xan's wish card was a picture of Caed, her cousin in Texas.  Maybe, just maybe, he will come to China this year for a visit.  

1 comment:

we are the spencers said...

love all the signs on the door. so wonderful for you guys to engage in the culture. i also love that diva standing there posing.