Maddie Rae Gotcha Day

Friday, February 8, 2008

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Maddie Rae checking out the chrysanthemums, which are taller than her!

Orange trees and chrysanthemums are the "Christmas trees" and poinsettias of CNY. They decorate homes, buildings, and outdoor areas everywhere. There are huge flower markets that sell them where you can get all of your decorations for the New Year. Everything is chosen because it represents something. For example, the oranges are round and orange, which will supposedly bring you good luck and fortune in the new year. Red is the color of luck, and white is the color of death. So don't get caught wearing white!
Cherry blossoms are also a popular decoration.
Trees also have lai see packets hanging from them. When you go up to someone and wish them "Kung Hei Fat Choy" or "Happy New Year", they hand you a lai see packet with money or candy in it. The boys love this tradition! They make quite a bit of lai see money each year. The rat cartoon is an effort to make the Year of the Rat appealing (at Disney they are calling it the Year of the Mouse).

I am listening to the drums of the dragon dance outside our house right now, and there is a spectacular fireworks display over Victoria Harbour tonight. Due to the crowds and cold, we probably will not haul all three kids out to that. Maddie Rae hated her Chinese New Year tutu outfit. I tried to get a picture of her in it, but she refused to comply and just cried until I exchanged the tutu for jeans. Not even 2, and she already has an opinion about her wardrobe!


Michelle said...

Happy Chinese New Year to your family!! We traveled at this time of year when we adopted Ella and loved it! Everything was decorated and very festive! Love the flowers and orange trees. Our HK guide told us all about the color superstitions...pretty interesting stuff.

Thanks for your prayers for Sophie!!