Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Happy New Year!

You might think I'm a little late to proclaim that, but today is the Chinese New Year according to the lunar calendar. Living in a country where many people are ethnically Chinese, we get to observe their celebration. We've chosen, though, to take an observe from a distance stance, since an island full of 4,000,000 people with the day off makes for a big crowd no matter where you go.

Case in point: we tragically ran out of skim milk today. I thought, "Hey, Indian people don't celebrate New Year so Mustafa will still be open." I suspected that there might be a crowd, but when I couldn't find a cart, and the lines were no less than about 10 people long (usually there aren't lines at all) I thought maybe I had planned poorly.

Anyway, this is what we know about how to celebrate Chinese New Year (For those of you who would like to participate). You should wear red, because red is the color of happiness. And probably prosperity. It's lucky ok?
Second, you should get together with your friends and family. Then you should make jiaozi. Or lao yusheng. Jiaozi we know as dumplings. Lao yusheng Erik compares to that napa cabbage salad, if you're familiar with that. You mix it together with friends. The higher you throw it, the more prosperity you'll have.
I think then you're supposed to watch the New Year's celebration on tv. Finally, you should give all small children hong bao - red bags full of money. I don't know how much though. Enjoy the hong bao while you shoot off lots of firecrackers.

I think we plan to play cards with friends tonight while eating peanuts, m&m's and cookies. This may explain why Chinese people tend to be smaller than westerners.

And of course, wish those around you a "xin nian kuai le!" Happy New Year!

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