Ya. I'm not dead. And what an awfully boring title this post has, don't you think?
Since last time I wrote it has become Year of The Tiger. Or year 99 in Taiwan. It's Chinese new year and I've been celebrating it with doing lots of stuff and being all depressed while doing it. Not that the Chinese New Year is depressing. Not in any way. Except that it's usually rainy and cold, from which this New Year didn't make the slighest deviation. Loneliness, that's what you get for not socializing with the other exchange students.
But ya, I'm not dead so whatever. Lets see if I remember anything from the activities.
Oh yeah. I could start out with the red envelopes called 紅包 (Hong2Bao1 - red bag). During the Chinese New Year, which lasts for a few days after the Chinese "New Years Eve", people will be giving out these. The norm is that "adult" family members give out Hongbao to kids and the elderly. Also, companies will usually give away some envelopes to their employees. You'll also see famous people giving away Hongbao to actor kids on television shows during these times.
The one family members who is younger than me has a bunch of Hongbao already.
The dog got a Hongbao too.
During the New Years Eve, people will eat some nice traditional food at home with their families (town is closed because everyone's celebrating). Then stay awake untill somewhere up near 3 am. I suspect I was the only one awake for that long. You don't actually have to stay awake all night, but if you do, your parents will live longer.
Oh yeah. Lots of food. That only just part of the table there. Notice the soup in the little black bowls? Buddha soup again. You eat those at every special occasion, so of course better cook it for Chinese New Year too!
Pork, Chicken and Fish Egg. Offerings to the gods.
Next day, that is, the first day of the new year, the Buddhist temples are working on full manning. Everybody's down to get some good luck for the new year, something they'll be working for the next 7 days at least. Good luck, that is.
Oven to burn lots of ghost money and stuffs.
Crawling under this strange thing also has a bunch of positive supernatural effects on your wellbeing.
Alrighty. I guess that was kind of just a short status to get back on track. If I get un-tired some time, perhaps I will write something interesting about Chinese New Year in Taiwan specifically instead of just commenting on what I've seen. Thing is, I didn't snap so many pictures during this time. Didn't really feel like anything. Recently, I've been taking trips out and about in the late hours, though. I've also made a feature on boonbot.com to arrange photos by location, so have a look at Ximending now. Lot's of people there because of the new year.
You can find all photos from this place here: Ximending
Just so there's no doubt. It's Year of The Tiger. You'll certainly not have any single grain of doubt if you're living here.
Here: have a bit of Japanese before I say goodnight.