Chinese New Year day 3

you are supposed to put these on the front of your door. they are sayings that are supposed to be paired together. on the top can be an interchangable saying. one is supposed to go on the left and one on the right and im not sure if i got it in the right order. i also forgot what they say and can only read a few characters, especially since they are brush strokey characters. the one on the left says somthing about peaceful. I picked these simple ones because they look simple and not crazy and flashy and glittery and rainbow hologram like.

these are supposed to be hung in pairs too. they are supposed to be old chinese money

these paper cuts are amazing. i mean the real ones, these are cheap ones made in a factory but still look cool. supposed to be hung in the windows.

these are supposed to be hung above your door in odd numbers meaning you should hang only 1 or 3 or 5 in your door, not 2 or 4 of them.

my roomate nana and her bf zizzo. in asia people wear these face masks all the time.

sent to the Ditan park temple fair again. it was crowded again which made it a lot less fun

there were some hot girls though

the slaughter pavillion

this is the fair in a nutshell. tons of these pinwheel things, and people eating meat on sticks and the sticks being on the ground.

tons of people bought these japanese koi noburi too.

games aplenty with prizes

there were even a couple chinese punks there. this was the only shot i could get in time because i had huge gloves on and getting my camera out of my pocket in a hurry is a challenge.

they had one of these things that you try to throw a coin through the hole for good luck just like at the white cloud temple.

This guy is so cool. what is he thinking.

I want to poke her eyes out so bad (these novelty glasses have no lenses)

Angel was saying that more educated people will write their own sayings or poems or whatever instead of buying them from the store. I should have done that in some nice gold paint. anyway this was a nice suprise to find in the front of my building, these look hand painted. and so much better than the crazy gaudy flashy cheap ones you by at a store.

Spring Festival Day aka Chinese new year day aka Chun Jie day

the aftermath. just some of it. i'm sure there are crazy picture opportunities in the hutongs early the next morning if the wind doesn't pick up.

went to baiyunguan (white cloud temple) because it is less crazy and popular than the temple fair they have at ditan park. we went to both. at least at baiyunguan people actually pray and stuff. ditan is just a huge fair with games and booths to buy stuff.

it is a daoist/taoist (same thing) temple. I think i remember playing a game that was set in japan and it was a karate game and there were various elements of taoism in it because it talked about karma and darma and i remember trying to remember what was what. well that didnt happen. i dont know even after i looked it up on wikipedia for 30 seconds. anyway that game was on the Apple IIe, you know the old one from the 80's/90's with the green dot matrix screen? You remember that game dad. what was it called

i can't remember if it is good luck to hit this bell or make the copper coin go through the hole. anyway there were throngs of people that bought the metal discs and were chucking them in there. there was a poor guy on both sides of the bridge shoveling up the coins....while people were throwing them still! they just had to put their jackets over their heads and dive in there.

poor guy, and on chinese new year too.

i dont know what was going on here but some people were just buying a bundle of insence from a guy and walking over to a working and giving him the bundle which was just tossed in the fire pit and then they would just leave, like its that simple and sanitary, buy the insence, give to guy, he throws in bin, your karma is instantly cleansed, you dont even have to pray or burn the insence yourself. I don't know how it works but it would seem like you need to put a little more effort into praying and stuff.

people lining up to pray

they were leaving incense everywhere and praying at anything including this burner that is out of commision and covered up!

gorilla in the insence

fortune telling.

ditan park, the most popular and most biggiest temple fair in beijing.

there were so many people that it was not fun. you have to shuffle to not get knocked down when you're walking. its elbow to elbow and lots of waiting to do anything.
I came back with my roomates 2 days later though and it was still super crowded. that's in the next post!

Chinese New Year a.k.a. Spring Festival a.k.a. Lunar New Year

went to my fav duck place, Da Dong. It is still the best. This vegetable formed into a round cake was called "chinese toon"

asparagus soup with sea urchin was yummy.

ok on to Chinese new year. Usually you spend chinese new year at home with your family watching the TV special galas and eating a huge meal. So it was awesome that Lily #2 invited Lily #1 and me to their dinner and stuff or else I would be eating noodles somewhere and crying and shaking like a little girl in the corner as the fireworks exploded around me. Lily #2's fam lives in a pretty nice place. her dad gardens a lot and has a greenhouse somewhere. is that small tree an azalea? i couldnt remember when they were asking me.

everything is in excess on this night so there was way too much food. that yellow thing on the side is like a lemon he said and you can't eat it, it's called a "buddah's hand"

the spread, complete with expensive bai jiu, wine, beer, hot pot, fish, and 4 other kinds of meat.

everyone says it is a tradition to watch the TV specials. they are big galas of comedians doing skits, singers singing songs, dancers dancing, acrobats acrobating etc.... at first i thought what the heck, chinese new year is supposed to be all cultural and stuff but then i guess if you look at it we americans sit around and watch the christmas story and it's a wonderful life all day on xmas.

they spent a good amount of time sending and recieving happy spring festival texts, which is the peak time in the year so it's hard to get any messages out because the network is super overloaded.

it's just lily #2's mom, dad and her in the house.

and then they wanted me to draw them, which i always reluctantly do because i don't draw people very nicely. my trademarks are big red noses, bag under the eyes, jowls, and just overall unflattering distortion.

lots of these boxes with tubes that shoot out the fireworks. fireworks are pretty violent. super loud, they rain down debris and burninated stuff on you. sometimes they rain down burning embers. i got one on the back of my head and ran away screaming like a little girl. I would be lying if i said it wasn't a little scary with all the noise and flames and sparks and bombs going off.

kids with the sparklers. i'm glad they dont give kids those little roman candles that spit out little fireworks every 2 seconds, i can see one of them tripping and shooting a roman candle right into my eye which would feel so good.

it's amazing to think that everywhere in china, which is huuuuuuuuuge if you didn't know, was setting off fireworks at the same time after midnight. everywhere you looked there were explosions. I bet it would look so amazing from a helicopter.

these are probably called firecrackers instead of fireworks right? they are the long strings of red firecrackers that you either hang up or lay on the ground and light up. The story is that you light firecrackers for the noise to scare away "Nian" this huge monster that terrorized some village in ancient china. When someone put bamboo in the fire it crackled and stuff and scared the monster away so every year now they use firecrackers to scare him away and other baddies too.
one of the smaller fireworks boxes. So for the rest of the week there has been random fireworks/crackers/bombs going off at all hours of the day and night. There are these bomb like ones that are one huge explosion that set off car alarms. those are a little hard to sleep through but you learn to sleep through the rest.