Thursday, February 21, 2013

Serpentine

Now that am homebound for a few weeks I can catch up on all kinds of things, like blog posts.  Silver lining!  I never got around to posting about Chinese New Year, which was on February 10.  We spontaneously decided to take advantage of the cultural diversity city living has to offer and hopped on the Metro to ring in the year of the snake at the parade in Chinatown. We dragged along Benjamin and his dad too.





I bet the boys would have been happy with just with the train ride and a $1 box of snappers.  The popping sound is supposed to scare off evil spirits.  We had front row seats on the curb right outside the Gallery Place station and had a great view of the parade.





There were lots and lots and lots of lion dances (which most people assume are dragons, but they look very different), and they got right up in our face.  Some got a little too close for comfort and Joseph finally had to hide behind Brent for a little while.







We also liked the martial arts demo, and since Joseph is currently obsessed with being a ninja, we've been looking into trying out a local Tae Kwan Do studio.



The dragon dances did soon follow.  Joseph's favorite was the shiny green and gold dragon.  Not as scary since you can see the many people underneath holding up the sticks, unlike the 2 people hiding inside the lion, I guess.






Rosie's mom at school gave the kids an interesting lesson about some of the symbolism.  Each year one of 12 animals is assigned as a patron, this year's being the snake.  Joseph was born in 2007 during the year of the pig.  Tradition holds that children born under the pig's patronage will benefit from the animal's image as fat, happy and prosperous, and will be honest and hardworking.  You can't argue with that!  2007 also happened to be a year of the golden pig, which happens every 60 years and showers extra-powerful blessings on those born during its passage.  Folklore has it that a child born in the year of the golden pig will experience a prosperous and healthy life. I'm all for that!

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