the Chinese New Year's celebration lasts for fifteen days. today marks the 8th day of the Goat Year. we spent the first few days at Ken's family home and it was a wonderful stay, as always.
'Fu' (福) is a lucky word for the Chinese, and it means happiness. during the new year, it is often made into paper cuttings, and displayed on doors or windows, upside-down. this is believed to 'invoke' the arrival of blessings. i particularly love the art of red paper-cutting and the fact that it is still practiced to this very day.
this plant intrigued me the moment we step into the house when we first arrived. it's huge, with it's contorted branches and dark stems. it started to sprout new, tiny leaves after a few days and it looks almost magical. it's called the 'flying dragon' plant. Ken's mum mentioned that it's also called 'the dragon moustache' --she decorated it with cute little gold ornaments, like this maneki neko and there were some red little ribbons on the branches too. it's the first time i've ever seen this plant, and i love it.
some mornings we walked around the neighborhood and i love the fresh air, how clean it felt. we made some simple little ornaments for the plants out at the yard, and he hanged some red decorations - making the place look livelier that it usually is. it is such a happy time of the year, it reminds me of Christmas. family came together to enjoy a meal at dinnertime. we'll eat all day, lots of cookies and dried barbecued pork slices, sweet mandarin oranges. hopeful thoughts that the coming days are filled with immense joy and prosperity -- and wishing everyone a good, fruitful year. the celebration is still ongoing, i hear fireworks every night, firecrackers every now and then. i love this time of the year.