Belated Happy New Year of the Ox! This is the most important festival of the year here in Taipei. The city becomes deserted with everyone returning to their ancestral homes. This gives us lots of time to wander and enjoy the empty streets. Here is my son, Adam, standing in front of Taipei city hall admiring the enormous paper cuttings without getting run over!
On New Year's Eve after the traditional evening meal with the in laws we returned home for midnight when all the windows were opened at 12am to let the New Year in and to say 'Hi' to the various Gods. That's also the time when the people set off the traditional firecrackers, leaving a lovely pungent smell of gunpowder in the air.
Last year was the year of the Rat. 'Coincidentally' we caught a rat in our house on the first day of the year of the rat!! We live on the 12F of a modern apartment building which is a heck of a climb for a little rodent. Anyway, I proudly boasted of my capture until someone told me that if the rat was killed (which it was) our fortune would leave the house. The credit crunch certainly saw to that!! Hopefully the year of the Ox (which is my sign) will bring us better luck. So far I haven't seen any sign of ox droppings in the kitchen....Yet!