The Chinese New Year celebrations in Taiwan have just recently come to a close.
For 15 days, all have been celebrating the New Year.
For 15 days, the firecrackers have been going off!
|Offering table placed in front of the office building adjacent to my office building|
During the Chinese New Year, after the holidays have been savored and people are ready to go back to work... Each business inquires as to the best time to reopen their business, in Chinese tradition. For example (although my firm is less strict, because it has a more international and not strictly Chinese background), on my first day back to work after the New Year we began business between the hours of 9am and 11am. This was the supposed window of perfect timing for my firm, and our office manager asked that we please not turn on the lights, A/C, or unlock the front doors until that time - even if we arrived earlier. In addition to opening at the most opportune time, many companies set off firecrackers and provide offerings to the gods. I call them firecrackers because for this specific use, they simply use the loud firecrackers for the noise - not much to see but a cloud of smoke. I don't know how the prophets giving this advice calculate their perfect timings, but I would love to know whose business near my apartment was really so fortuitous by opening Saturday morning at 5am?! Yes, yes they did.
I'm still becoming familiar with these Chinese New Year traditions... you can read more about it here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year
|Decorative lanterns hanging round the Sun-Yat-Sen Memorial Hall|
Each uniquely hand-painted.
|Rows and rows of lantern displays - Imagine a football field full of them...|
|There were a LOT of rabbit themed lanterns for the Year of the Rabbit.|
|Line of displays along one side of the Memorial Hall.|