While I’ve been celebrating my freedom- China has been celebrating the new year. I was excited to experience my first new year in china since its something I know very little about except there is a lot of red involved.
China traditionally celebrates the lunar new year which was on Feb 19th this year. It’s the most important holiday in the country and very much about being with your family. The whole country seemed to be making its way home in the past week.
I asked my students to tell me about the holiday and how they celebrate. They immediately exclaimed MONEY. Children get money in red envelopes for good luck for the new year. The second thing they didn’t know how to explain so they just said “BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM”
yeah. Lots and lots of fireworks.
Its been building for weeks now. I’ve wakened up at the dead of night to hear them going off, and been seeing the red paper everywhere. But nothing could have prepared me for yesterday and the constant barrage of it. I like it a lot buts its scared the crap out of me several times now. Especially since they go off everywhere.
All day today I’ve seen little kids buying all sorts of fireworks from the tables on the roads and then watch as their parents try to steer them away from the massive ones. I’ve also steeped on about 5 firecrackers today.
We spent the New Year in Dali (which I LOVE) and celebrated very traditionally – we went to a bar. At midnight the band sang Hey Jude and we all tried to yell happy new year in Chinese and I’m pretty sure the Chinese staff were getting a good laugh at the pronunciation attempts.
A real traditional Chinese new year, according to my friends means going home to be with your family, lots of good food and games of Mah Jong, and then watching the new years gala on TV. Everyone wants to set off their fireworks exactly at midnight and apparently in the countryside you can hear them going off for two hours. Eating dumplings is also very traditional.
And now its the year of the sheep. So everyone who is 12,24, 36 and so on can celebrate their lucky year. My little nephew will be a sheep, whenever he decides to be born. Baby boy is 8 days overdue and making his family a little crazy but my sister is being a champion mama already.