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Its a Bird! Its a plane! Its the Lantern Festival!

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Falling on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar Year, the Lantern Festival takes place under a full moon, and marks the end of Chinese New Year festivities. The entire city has gone mad! Everyone from the age of three to eighty three have all turned two and are running around the place throwing firecrackers at each other, twirling sparklers and staring into the sky above all with a huge smile on their faces whilst covering their ears with their hands. Yes, some seem to be able to do all of the above at the same time. It really is like a war zone out there and the booming never seems to cease for even several seconds. The 2009 Winter Beers and Noodles Adventure came to an end yesterday when I finally made it back to my school and as it was evening I failed to notice how obscenely filthy my apartment was. What I did notice was that I was sneezing all night with a huge headache so I headed to bed early. When I woke and headed out into the kitchen I was leaving 'clean' footprints as a trail. I then noticed that there was a thick coating of, I would like to say dust but it was actually dirt and it was everywhere. We obviously had several dust storms whilst I was way down south. Guess who left all his windows, draws and cupboard doors open to air out prior to leaving? You can't guess, really...haha! Me, I left them all open as I thought it would be good to air the place out! I began cleaning at 10:00am and quickly forgot breakfast and then lunch. I had to sweep and wet cloth the entire house and contents three times and also wash all my bedding and most of my clothes. It wasn't really what I had in mind while I was on the bus home. When I first got home I looked at my washing machine and nearly ran over and kissed it. The only problem with travelling in winter time is hand washing winter clothes. Each time I had to wash my pants and shirt I felt as horrible as most people in China don't own a fridge let alone a washing machine. All clothes are hand washed and one a daily basis. Anyhow, after a few hours today and on around my third load I didn't feel like kissing my washing machine anymore...more like kicking it but I then remembered that it was doing all the work for me so I did actually give it a gentle little peck on the cheek. Around five in the afternoon I had finished most of what needed to be done so I headed out along the river for a few hours and on my return journey I was more than happy of the days chosen destination. I was walking back on the 'other' side of the river and all around me there was huge booms and colourful flashes in the sky above. To my right and across the fields is a village that runs along the bottom of the mountains along a dirt road for about five kilometres. At night time it is covered by a blanket of darkness as it is a village and not a town or city. Running along its entire length were bright and colourful flashes. Then to my left was the city in all its BOOMING glory!! As poor as it maybe there is certainly enough Yuan around to end the Chinese Spring Festival with a celebration that could almost equal the Sydney New Years display. Well, no! Not really, that was a huge exaggeration on my part, but it really was awesome. There were no 'City Fireworks' at any of the squares, instead many stores had purchased truckloads of their own and were all at war to see who could make their part of the sky the most beautiful and at the same time deafen as many people as possible! And those who wished to participate in this war simply had to turn around and make a purchase! There were a billion trillion small stalls that had been set up all over the city and that lined several of the city streets. Every year the Chinese Spring Festival scares the absolute hell out of me. I'm serious, all the young children as young as three or four are all armed. If you smoke and can't find your lighter this time of year, don't bother buying one, simply ask the nearest young child if you can borrow their lighter. They'll hand it over with a big smile and when you give it back they'll light a cracker and throw it at you. And then run away giggling their little Chinese butts off! Anyhow, today being the fifteenth day of the first month of the Lunar Year makes it the last day of Spring Festival which also means that I must begin teaching in two days (on the 11th) and if my timetable is the same as last term that would mean it will be only two and a half days until I can head back to Xian to meet Luo Wei as she will be returning from Kaifeng city to begin work on the Monday. I don't work Friday afternoon! Why would anyone work Friday afternoon for heaven sake! It also means that in just over four months the 2009 Beers N Noodles Summer Adventure will begin! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane

PS: below is some information on the history of the Lantern Festival. PSS: below the information are the usual photos some of which were taken this evening. The rest are of Spring Festival decorations from several parks in Guangzhou city in Guangdong. To see them in all their beauty you will need to look at my bog page for 'Spring Festival/New Year.' PSSS: All of this is totally illegal in most of out countries. You just can't have kids runnng around with lighters and for most of my life I haven't been able to by any type of fireworks. Yet here they are all simply a small step away. Most probably due to their absence, the entire scene seems so unreal and scares the absolute shite out of me! Why? I couldn't count the amount of sirens I heard tonight! Thats why! ________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by 'Playing For Change If you've never heard of it you simply must go to; www.playingforchange.com I don't know much about it but from what I can gather a group of very caring people took a trip around the world and recorded buskers and special 'music groups' all performing the same songs. Not only did they make a film about it but also mixed them all together and made a soundtrack too.....Awesome! From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe. This and other songs such as "One Love" will be released as digital downloads soon; followed by the film soundtrack and DVD early next year. Sign up at www.playingforchange.com for updates and exclusive content available only to those who do. Join the Movement to help build schools, connect students, and inspire communities in need through music [/i]________________________________________________ Legend of the Lantern Festival's Origin </b> The Lantern Festival dates back to shrouded legends of the Han Dynasty. Over 2000 years ago. In one such legend, the Jade Emperor in Heaven was so angered at a town for killing his favourite goose that he decided to destroy it with a storm of fire. However, a good-hearted fairy heard of this act of vengeance, and warned the people of the town to light lanterns throughout the town on the appointed day. The townsfolk did as they were told, and from the Heavens, it looked as if the village was ablaze. Satisfied that his goose had already been avenged, the Jade Emperor decided not to destroy the town. From that day on, people celebrated the anniversary of their deliverance by carried lanterns of different shapes and colors through the streets on the first full moon of the year, providing a spectacular backdrop for lion dances, dragon dances, and fireworks. The Modern Lantern Festival </b> While the Lantern Festival has changed very little over the last two millennia, technological advances have made the celebration more and more complex and visually stimulating. Indeed, the festival as celebrated in some places (such as Taipei, Taiwan) can put even the most garish American Christmas decorations to shame. They often sport unique displays of light that leave the viewer in awe. Master craftsman will construct multicolored paper lanterns in the likeness of butterflies, dragons, birds, dragonflies, and many other animals; these accentuate the more common, red, spherical lanterns. Brilliantly-lit floats and mechanically driven light displays draw the attention of the young and old alike. Sometimes, entire streets are blocked off, with lanterns mounted above and to the sides, creating a hallway of lamps. Some cities in North China even make lanterns from blocks of ice! And just as in days gone by, the billion-watt background sets the scene for dragon and lion dances, parades, and other festivities. Yuan Xiao and Tang Yuan</b> Yuan Xiao and Tang Yuan are balls of glutinous rice, sometimes rolled around a filling of sesame, peanuts, vegetable, or meat. Tang Yuan are often cooked in red-bean or other kinds of soup. The round shape symbolizes wholeness and unity. www.c-c-c.org/chineseculture

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival


Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Its The Chinese Lantern Festival

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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