Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Year of the Rat!

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone! It is now the second day of the year of the Rat in the Lunar calender. The celebration at midnight on New Years Eve was incredible. It was magical to be in Beijing. Fireworks were going off between buildings, in the street, on EVERY city block, and for 24 hours. It is hard to describe the feeling, other than it is special.

This week Chinese spend all the time on a somewhat rigid schedule moving from house to house seeing all the relatives and friends in a certain order. There are all types of traditions as to who to see, what to eat, how to decorate, what to do, etc. I guess trying to explain Christmas would be equally as hard. This week is the Chinese Christmas, where it is mandatory to make the trek home, no matter how far, and to exchange gifts and eat special foods. For me, it is nice to watch from the outside, but I am thankful from a break from work! You can be certain that very few people are at work, just the few Western cafes in the area are open today.

I wish you all prosperity and happiness in the new year!
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