Valentine’s Day

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I always thought Valentine’s day is just another day for retailers to sell chocolates. After New Years and Christmas the left over chocolates toss into a heart shape box before wrapping them up into colourful egg shapes for Easter. I do not recall ever having a good Valentine’s day. It is a day full of high expectations if you are in a relationship and a day of depression if you are single. One expects one’s partner to gives some sort of red and white gift or something cute (teddy bear, chocolates or roses… etc) Take one on a romantic date and put up afterwards. If you are married, you expect that your spouse do something nice or be nice. If you are single, you wish you can have a date or you will just stay home and get annoyed at all the Valentine’s day commercials – especially those diamond ones.

Then, there’s those of us that work on Valentine’s day which is not so bad. People seem to act nicer on this day towards people who are working.

Or you see those PDA (public display affections) couples while walking and you wish they would get a room or that you could join them (if they are hot) because deep inside you wonder when you will ever get married (or laid), so your parents will stop embarrassing you in front of the nice cashiers at grocery store.

Then few minutes later, you see a guy who is trying so hard to get “some” tonight. He is going into the subway with a giant bouquet wrapped in fancy papers that is blocking his vision. Carrying a heart shape chocolate box with a helium balloon hitting everything in its path. I can’t help but think how embarrassing and ridiculous he looks. Especially if he is taking a girl on a date then he is going to have to carry those gifts for her for the rest of the evening and I wish that balloon pops and he fall down the stairs because he can’t see through that giant bouquet. (Yes. I am just jealous. Whoever that girl is must be very lucky or very amazing to have boys do something like this for her.)

However, I give props to these brave men who conquer all odds on Valentine’s day to bring gifts to their woman.

I will end this post by sharing some funny Valentine’s day tweets:

funny vday tweets

funny vday tweets2

Welcome to the Year of the Snake – How to celebrate Chinese New Year

snakeHappy Chinese New Year. The reason that Chinese New Year is in February because it follows the lunar calendar. The western calendar follows the sun whereas Ancient Chinese calendar follows the moon.

Celebration for Chinese New Year consist of a series of social, media and family tradition. There are certain food, practices and religious activities that people practise in order to ensure they can best prepare themselves and their families for the coming year.

The Chinese New Year celebration traditionally consist of 13 days in total. Although due to today's busy schedule Chinese New Years have been shorten to 5 days, however, it does vary in different countries.

The mythology/tale believed to start Chinese New Year is the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian (Chinese: 年 aka. year). Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian.

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Today, the colour red continues to symbolize good luck and wealth in Chinese culture. People hang red papers writing good wishes in Chinese calligraphy on their door. Use fire crackers and perform dragon dance (symbolize the nian beast) Making lots of noises.

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Family Traditions/ Practice

  • Red Pocket Money – adults will put money inside a red envelope to give to children. It symbolizes good wishes and luck pass from elders to the younger generations. Does not have to be for their own children as long as they are of younger generation.
  • Friendly Gambling – This can be Mahjong, big two card game or throwing dice (parents will sometimes let their children gamble a small amount of their red pocket money to test their luck for the coming year – under their supervision of course)
  • Saying good wishes to elders – children are expected to know many good wishes phrases to say to the elders or others. And they often hold their fist and shake them in front of their chest to say them
  • Wearing new clothes – This is suppose to symbolize out with the old and in with the new.
  • Feast – families always prepare for big meals during this time. Tones of dishes and unlimited supply of food. Never cook enough to finish always have left over.
  • Visiting distant family members – going to grandparents or distant relatives' houses to visit.
  • Visiting temples – People will visit temples to ask the gods to give them good wishes and luck for the coming year
  • Vacation – A lot of people will take family vacation during the new years as well

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Food (certain food are consumed for new years)

  • Fish – so you can have left over savings every year
  • Red Bean – Fertility – have children
  • Egg Roll – Finding a Boyfriend
  • Orange – Good luck and Good wealth
  • Smoke Meat – Good luck
  • Rice Cake – year cake
  • Pineapple cake – good luck
  • Pineapple – wealth to come
  • Raddish or Raddish cake – grow old well – good progress
  • Dumplings – look like gold plates – wealth
  • Rice balls soup – fertility – have children

There are probably more

Media – TV  will have special programs dedicated t0 New Year

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