Happy Chinese New Year! I am back in Taiwan, so it is time to start blogging again!
The first thing that I noticed when I returned was that the Christmas decorations are gone from the entrance and lobby of our apartment building. In their place are Chinese New Year decorations.
This is the biggest holiday of the year in Taiwan and China. It is a time when everyone travels to visit family, kids are off from school, and businesses close. It is very similar to the week between Christmas and New Year in the US. Jeff has the week of Jan. 29-Feb. 4 off from work, and Harmony also has that week off from school. So it is a good time to travel somewhere, as most everything in Taipei will be closed. I know this from past experience, as I have spent three of the past five Chinese New Years in Taipei. For three days, the only businesses open in the city are 7Elevens, and their shelves are pretty bare by the third day, when a few other restaurants and businesses will reopen.
So we, Jeff, Harmony, and I are going to be traveling to Sumatra, Indonesia, from Jan. 29 to Feb. 6! You are probably wondering-why Sumatra? Here are the reasons.
I am sure that I will have many interesting blog entries when I return!
Chinese New Year Decorations often feature cute animals from the Chinese Zodiac, or a “happy man.” The decorations on the doors to the mailbox area of our building are of the happy man type. In case you are wondering, 2014 will be the Year of the Horse in the Chinese zodiac.
People also like to use certain plants when they decorate for the New Year. In the US, we use evergreens and poinsettias for our holiday decorations. Here, they often use miniature kumquat and mandarin orange trees, orchids, and plants with red flowers. They are all very pretty!