A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about holidays

Happy New Year!

In China, it seems to last until March!

sunny 30 °F

Chinese (lunar) New Year was officially celebrated Feb 9-12, which was a few days before we arrived back in Harbin. However, like Christmas trees that last until February, the Chinese just don't want the fun to end and so remnants of the holiday stay long after the official festivities have ended. Same with the fireworks. And the fireworks here are NO JOKE! It's traditional to set off firecrackers whenever a new business opens up to frighten away evil spirits (or just because firecrackers are loud and awesome). Because we live in a college town, and because most businesses were temporarily closed during the holiday, every day starting at about 8am there's a new business opening or an old business reopening or maybe someone who just went out for a meal returning, so there's a round of firecrackers for luck.

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The whole town is covered with firecracker papers.

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It's traditional to decorate the house with words of luck or blessing. One of the most common is Fu, which means "fortune." It's hung upside down because the word for "upside down" has the same sound as "to arrive." But, this is only true in Mandarin. In Cantonese the word "upside down" is the same as the word "to run out," so don't be hanging your signs wrong!

Nothing goes uncovered with messages.

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And when I said they were no joke about the fireworks, I meant NO joke.

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Hawaii, take note. Although I didn't find out how much these cost, I have a feeling they were dirt cheap. These stands were set up on the last day of the lantern festival. That night there were hardly any "small" fireworks. Everyone was having their own Hilton Hawaiian Village show. This was the view of the apartments right behind us (in one of the worst night shots of all time). They were setting off huge fireworks all around our building, and if it hadn't been -10 degrees, I might have gone out to get some better shots!

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Posted by Blanchardlawn 22:16 Archived in China Tagged new lunar year holidays fireworks Comments (0)

Thanksgiving Dinnner

5 °F

It can be hard to be away from family and friends for the holidays, but we've made some really good friends here as well. We almost skipped Thanksgiving since we don't really have any time to prepare food (we work 6 days a week and are pretty busy on Sunday's too), but somehow we managed to rope off a few hours this week to do a small potluck for our English department. I think the main reason we had to celebrate Thanksgiving was that Teresa had a box of stovetop stuffing and that was excuse enough.

We also had a beautiful salad, something that's so much cheaper to make in China than in Hawaii. Produce here is SO CHEAP! (On a side note, we just made a stir fry for dinner. All of the ingredients came out to $2. And we have leftovers).

But back to Thanksgiving - the menu was salad, Stovetop stuffing, Korean pickled radish, Korean omelette, Yam Yam Chicken, and Chicken & Dumplings that Yun made on the stovetop. We're getting pretty creative with the rice cooker - Yun made a small loaf of bread in it. Hope to have more on that bread cooker craziness in another post.

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Da spread!

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And best of all, Judy brought some amazing hot chocolate. It was so good. I had bought marshmallows a few weeks ago, so paired up and enjoyed.

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Nothing beats hot coco when you're thinking of home.

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And here's a Thanksgiving note from one of the kids. Didn't take too much prompting. Love these kids.

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Posted by Blanchardlawn 05:22 Archived in China Tagged holidays Comments (0)

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