Monday, 19 February 2007

Gung Hei Fat Choy

On Sunday February 18, the Chinese New Year 4705 began. It's the Year of the Pig, but not just any pig, this year is the Year of the Golden Pig, an event that happens every 60 years. It's reputed to be an auspicious time to have children, as babies born during the year will be prosperous and wealthy. Watch for a baby boom in China!

To welcome the New Year, the local Chinese community celebrated their traditions and culture.

This Chinese artist painted a beautiful traditional landscape on rice paper using black ink, and a bamboo brush. He told me he learned to paint when he was a small child, and now teaches his craft to others.

The finished product....
The Lion dance is a very important part of New Year celebrations, to chase out the old year, and welcome the new, and bring Good Luck and Happiness.
A display of Chinese pottery, crafts and symbols to welcome the New Year.
This man is playing the ERHU, a Chinese violin.
Playing the YANGQIN, a Chinese hammered dulcimer.
and the GUZHENG, rather like a zither.

The children were making delicate bookmarks with dried pressed flowers.

The Money God gave us red envelopes for good luck.... supposed to contain lucky money, but these had a "buy one, get one free" coupon for a Chinese travel agency inside! Never let tradition get in the way of commercial enterprise.


photowannabe said...

A lovely tribute to the Year Of The Golden Pig. I enjoyed learning all about it. Nice pictures too.

Libbys Blog said...

What a fascinating post!

The Toronto Team said...

Glad to meet you too! I'm very new to blogging, and I'm amazed how it took no time to get connected to people around the world and even in my own backyard!
You've got a lovely site. I'm inspired.Best wishes!

rosemary said...

Wonderful far we Americans have to go to really have a history as rich as the Chinese. we aren't off to a grewat start after all we made Williamsburg into an amusement park.

TorAa said...

Thank you for sharing this tribute to the Year of the Golden Pig. I'm only slightly away from the last time it happened. May be I'm a bronze pig. LoL.

Great entry.

Xtreme English said...

Love this post! Thanks for sharing the wealth. Did you take these photos in Toronto? We have a Chinatown here in DC, and they have/had festivities, too, but I was busy taking a nap. (Cough) The Dragon Boat races in the summer are great.

CanadianSwiss said...

Very informative post... and I loved the "buy one, get one free" coupon. LOL.

L.L. Barkat said...

I love the watercolor. It reminds me of the body of a little bird I saw this morning, as I lay down in the snow to watch what would come to the trees above. The bird's feathers were watercolor browns, melting into one another.

Ex-Shammickite said...

PhotoWannabe: Thanks, it was fun taking the pictures and learning more about the Chinese celebrations.

Libby: Glad you enjoyed reading it.

Tor Team: Thanks for your kind words. Yes, it doesn't take long to get to know people in the blog world, it's a lot of fun! Keep blogging.

Rosemary: Well, I had fun at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg when I visited many years ago, but perhaps that's what it takes to preserve the actual town.

Tor: Award yourself silver, bronze isn't good enough!

Xtreme: Photos taken in Markham, just to the N of Toronto. It used to be a sleepy country town, now occupied by a huge Chinese population. There are Dragon Boat races too, perhaps I'll get some photos of that in the summer.

CdnSwss: I had a good laugh about the coupon too!

LL: I really enjoyed watching the artist create this scene. He took about 10 minutes from start to finish. He also did some wonderful peony and bamboo studies.

Pat said...

Hi from Guelph!!

Really enjoyed seeing your photos. Loved that art!

Markham! My brother lives in Unionville!

Must add your blog to my sidebar.


Colleen said...

I loved learning about the Chinese a little more and I have to say amazing photographs. I just wish my daughters could experience a little culture like this someday.

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

I have been to China Town near Toronto. Thanks for the memories and stopping by my blog.

lettuce said...

Hi - thanks for visiting. I've enjoyed looking through your blog. Great photos.

Chinese New Year is fabulous in london too.

Ginnie said...

I think you Canadians do a much better job of celebrating the Chinese New Year than we do here in the States. Shame on us.

This is such a lovely post about the customs!