Happy Chinese New Year

Gong Xi Fa Cai ( Kong Hae Fat Choi), (Cantonese for) " May you have a prosperous new year"

Happy Chinese New Year to all our chinese counterparts all around the globe. It is the year of the monkey, 2004. It's the most celebrated part of the year especially for Buddhists. Chinese New Years are very memorable for me because it was during the celebration of the Chinese new year that my now husband met for the very first time.I remember it was moderately cold that day. And it was a holiday that I was able to have few days off consecutively. We roamed the city. Among the places we visited are; Ocean Park, it's a wide amusement park were we had cable rides, we watched panda bears, snakes, fish and we also watch a dolphine show.We also climbed the supposedly highest escalator in Asia which was located at the park used for getting from the bottom of the park to the top of the mountain where other man-made sites were created. The next day we attempted to go to Lantau Island where the biggest Buddha statue in Asia is located, but when we got to the bus station going to the island, there was a mile long line of people trying waiting to get to the island. I forgot that it was Chinese New Year and hundreds of buddhists flock the area during this holiday. We just roamed the city that day, we went to the shopping mall and walked around Kowloon Park which is off Nathan Road. We just went around the places by buses and the MTR, an underground train.
We ended our evening eating at the "Rainforest Cafe". It has a romantic atmosphere. Candle light and thunder storm effects. It's literally a jungle look inside. At the entrance are domes of aquariums with hundreds of water species swimming. Beside the tables are small waterfalls, the entire area was designed with green vines and foliages, plants, flowers and all kinds of animals. Of course not real animals but a zoo of fake animals. Outside by the wishing well is a mechanical crocodile that opens it's mouth. Many eager kids enjoy watching the crocodile with anticipation and fear in their faces every time the crocodile moves.

Chinese new year reminds me of "moon cakes". I love moon cakes. they are very similar to the Pinoy snack called "hopia". And what I love most is getting "lai see" or the red pockets they give out during the chinese new year. These red envelopes contains money. It's very exciting to get them during the holiday. A lot of the Filipina friends I met would make fond of the greeting saying "Kong Hae Fat Choi, lai-see tuloy". A Korean guy told me that "Kong Hae fat Choi" means "give me money" when I greeted him. But of course he was just joking. It's very colorful during the holidays, very festive decorations mostly red,(it's considered the lucky color) in the malls, houses and everywhere else. Oh, one more thing. I remember that during the first day of the chinese new year we, were not allowed to sweep the floor. According to them, we should not sweep, so that the good luck will remain in the home. We only swept at the end of the day.


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