When we got back to A's house (A is a Chinese friend of more than 10 years) we needed to put up the duilian (Chinese couplets). Traditionally in China, you put up a pair of duilian on either side of your door along with a piece above the door. These Chinese couplets are a form of poetry and each side has approximately the same meaning and matches in form. They are painted on long strips of red paper and put up to bring good fortune throughout the new year (usually you leave the duilian up all year). Many people buy them, other people will pick one out from a book and make them themselves. A had a student paint hers for her. In addition, you typically put the character 福 (fu- meaning: wealth) upside down on your door because to say fu is upside down sounds the same as wealth is coming. The old people had told A that she needed to get her duilian up by 3 pm on New Year's Eve. We weren't home in time for that and she wasn't worried about it but did feel that she should have it up by midnight. We got home at about 11:45 pm and set to work right away. We successfully mounted the couplets to the door before midnight so we called it good.
The next day we met C and I at a temple fair. I (who is American) and I were both very confused because it was called a temple fair, but there was no temple. You should have seen the confusion on our faces as we asked C and A why it was called a temple fair if there was no temple. The temple fair really was just an opportunity to shop. It was an area with a bunch of shops selling largely cultural items to hordes of people (who also loved to try to take C and my pictures). After a while, we decided to try another spot and went to Chaoyang Park. At Chaoyang Park, we found what was essentially a carnival. We had to pay 5 yuan to get into the park (this was the regular price to enter the park - a lot of Chinese parks charge admission) and then inside were all the overpriced things you'd find at a carnival - food, rides, games, etc. We had a great time and sampled quite a bit of food. Not quite the family celebrations I experienced when I celebrated Spring Festival in the villages.
|This appears to be a poster instructing people|
to not set off fireworks because of
the pm 2.5 pollution it creates.
|This is squid|
|This is also squid.|