Posts Tagged ‘celebrations’

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Chinese New Year!

January 31, 2017

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Our experience of Chinese New Year in Shanghai (2015) involved an amazing amount of fireworks. It started about a week or so before the actual date and kept right on going for another week or so after. The actual eve of the New Year the fireworks sounded like a war zone and went on for at least an hour. Fireworks were invented in China, as you may know, and they are  integral to Chinese culture. Fireworks are used to celebrate everything, all year round. It is not like it is in the States where there are very limited types of fireworks that are available to the public and they are only sold for a limited time prior to the 4th of July. The fireworks sold to the Chinese public are big ones that shoot up into the air and make a great deal of noise.

Click here for video from 2015 (Be forewarned, it is loud.)

Unfortunately, during the Gregorian calendar New Year’s celebration 2016, many people were killed and injured in a crowd incident. As a result, fireworks are now banned in most of Shanghai, even for New Year. It has been a very quiet year. Therefore, this year we traveled up to Jaiding which is outside the banned zone to see some fireworks.

There is another tradition, a very long television show. I do not know exactly what time the show starts, but it runs right up to midnight. We watched several hours of it. It involves a variety of performances – singing, dancing, comedians, and skits. Some of the grander performances are done on location in various cities – Harbing, Shanghai, Beijing, etc. It was quite spectacular and interesting even though we do not understand a word.

The next morning we went into the center of old town Jaiding to the Daoist temple and Quixia ancient garden. We arrived in the afternoon. It appeared that we missed the crowds who had been there earlier to make prayers and offerings to start the year off right.

We spent a little time in the garden and checked on the kittens we had seen four months ago on our previous visit.

Not a lot has changed except size.

One of the greatest features of Chinese gardens, in my opinion, are the cave structures. I am very jealous of the kids who grew up in playing in these gardens and caves.

I made Daddybird watch my bag while I walked through. A young family with a little boy came along and debated whether to go through. The boy wanted to do it, but was unsure, so Daddybird encouraged them to go. Carpe diem! The boy came back by and said “thank you.”

We called it a day, took the bus to the metro station and then home.

To see all pictures, click here. To review our previous visit to the garden to compare foliage and cats, click here.

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December Lights

December 16, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

I have to admit that I do miss the cold weather of winter and the American holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Years Day. The weather here gets down into the 70’s (Fahrenheit) which is pleasant, but not very wintery. We aren’t bombarded with Christmas shopping commercials and ads. We don’t get to see “It’ a Wonderful Life” or “Frosty the Snowman” or “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” or “Miracle on 34th Street” on the TV. The last three years I haven’t had any time off for Christmas, even working the day when it fell on a weekday. So, it doesn’t seem much like Christmas.

Happily, one thing that hasn’t been missing is lights. The U.A.E.’s anniversary falls on December 2nd. This means lots of red, green and white lights. This year was a special anniversary – 40 years – so there was even more celebration.

dancers in vibrant fucia

There were concerts, dance performances, jet ski parades, air shows…

firework blast

Fireworks on multiple occassions…

truck decorated with pictures and flag colors

Decorating one’s vehicle with pictures of the leaders and colors of the flag is a widespread tradition.

building draped in red, white and green lights

And lights, everywhere.

central market covered in white lights

This is the Fujairah central souk (market – meat, fruit, vegetables, clothes).

light shaped as four zero

The number 40 is everywhere.

building draped in red, green and white lights

Lights are done in a big way.

decorative light attached to a lamp post

I particularly like the lights shaped like boys carrying the flag.

light post decor shaped like a boy carrying a flag

My favorite building display is the Fujairah Municipality Building.

building draped in multi-colored lights

It has been a pleasant celebration season and a delight for the eyes. Happy 40th Anniversary to the United Arab Emirates.