Published: January 3rd 2011January 1st 2011
Sunny and inviting Miami Beach - South Beach
Miami Beach invites visitors from around the world to its clean and white beaches, and its blue and clear waters. Most famous of these beaches on the Atlantic coast is South Beach, where people watching is the favorite sport.
From Miami, Florida, USA, I wish all of my wonderful students and the teachers and staff of Taizhou Teachers College, as well as my friends around China and the world, a HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR, 2011. May the New Year bring you much love and affection, continued joy and happiness, and the success and prosperity all of you deserve. Thank you for sharing my adventures in China, and for all of your support, love and encouragement expressed in your emails and in your comments on these pages of my TravelBlog.
The Chinese Lunar New Year will be celebrated this year on February 3rd and 4th, as the date is determined by the Chinese Lunar Calendar. In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, it is now the year, 4709 !!! (wow!!!). It will be a great time for all the Chinese people, who will make every effort to spend these days with their families. They will travel long distances to share the joys of this season with their loved-ones.
On the days before the New Year celebration, Chinese families give their home a thorough cleaning. It is believed the cleaning sweeps away bad luck and makes their homes ready for good
Miami Beach Ocean #2
South Beach invites during any season.
luck to arrive. All the brooms and dust pans are put away on New Year's Evening, so that good luck cannot be swept away. Many Chinese give their homes, doors and windowpanes a new coat of red paint.
New Year season in China lasts for fifteen days. The first week is the most important and most often celebrated with visits to friends and family as well as greetings of good luck. The celebrations end on the important and colorful Lantern Festival, on the evening of the 15th day of the Lunar month.
Homes are decorated with paper cut-outs of Chinese auspicious phrases and couplets (short phrases) that speak of "happiness, wealth and longevity".
A reunion dinner is held on New Year's Eve, where members of the family, near and far, get together for celebration. The New Year's Eve dinner is very large and traditionally includes chicken. Fish is also included, but not eaten up completely, leaving the wish and hope for surpluses of food every year.
In the North of China, delicious, stuffed dumplings are served as the main dish during this festive season, because it is believed that dumplings are wrapped in the semblance of
Miami Beach Ocean #3
Hello my dear friends in China. Please stay warm during these days. Wish you were here to share to milder weather on the beach with me.
Chinese gold nuggets used in ancient China. (My students invited me to make some dumplings with them, but I had little success, since many opened after they were placed in the boiling water. Maybe next year I will have greater success with these dumplings.)
At night, parents and grandparents usually put "gift money or lucky money" under the pillows of the children. It is believed, that this money will keep their children safe for the coming year. The most common story of the origin of this tradition is, that once there was a monster called "Sui":
The Monster Sui would come on the night of Chuxi (Chinese New Year's Eve), and touch the forehead of sleeping children. Once touched, normal children turned insane, and smart children were then mentally retarded. To avoid this, parents usually stayed up the whole night and watch out for the Monster Sui.
One couple loved their bright son so very much, and decided one year to keep the son awake by having him play with coins wrappped in red paper. However, both the parents and the boy eventually fell asleep, with the paper-wrapped coins falling besides the boy's pillows.
Miami Beach Ocean #4
With no pollution, the skies of South Beach are deep blue, and the sands of the beach are white.
Monster Sui came looking for the boy. The parents woke up, but it was too late for them to stop Monster Sui. As Sui got close to the boy, a light flashed from the paper-wrapped coins, and scared Monster Sui away.
The next day, the story was known by all villagers, and people believed that having coins wrapped in red paper would keep Monster Sui away on the night of "Chuxi" or Chinese New Years Evening.
And so, it became a tradition to put money by the pillows of children on the night of "Chuxi", and the money was called "Ya Sui Qian" or "Sui defeating money". People believed this money would keep their children safe for the rest of the year!
New Year's Day is celebrated within the family. Usually family members gather on the morning of the New Year's Day. During this gathering, "Red Envelopes", also filled with money, are given by senior members of the family, usually married, to unmarried junior members of the family.
The first day of Chinese Lunar New Year is a time where family members, in order of seniority, will pay a visit to their oldest and most senior member
Miami Beach Ocean #5
"Look, there is much space for you on the white sands of South Beach".
of their family, usually their parents or grandparents, or even their great-grandparents. The reunion dinner is usually at the eldest and most respected family member's residence. This has been the custom for many centuries.
Red banners with the word "happiness" written on them are hung around the house and on the front of the doors. This sign is usually hung upside down, since the Chinese word "upside down" sounds similar as "arrive". Therefore, it symbolizes the arrival of luck and happiness.
The Chinese New Year is greeted with and abundance of fire-crackers and fire-works, and loud and enthusiastic greetings, often referred to as "lucky words".
The celebrationn of Chinese New Year is known as "Guonian":
According to legend, in ancient China, Nian, a man-eating predatory beast from the mountains, could infiltrate houses silently. The Chinese were always very scared of this monster.
Later they learned that Nian was sensitive to loud noises and the color red, and so they scared it away with explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of the color red, (the most important color in all of China).
Chinese New Year Evening is called "Chuxi". "Chu" means "get rid of" and "Xi"
Miami Beach Ocean #6
Visitors come from around the world, and delight in the ambience of South Beach.
is the day of the legendary man-eating beast, Nian, which preyes once a year on New Years Eve. When Nian arrived, people used firecrackers to scare him away. Once Nian ran away, people joined together to celebrate for another year of safe life.
HAPPY AND LOVING CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR!!! IT WILL BE THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT !!!!
In this TravelBlog #130, I am offering you a lengthy photo journey (186 pictures) to some of the places I call my home. Florida is also called the "Sunshine State", and with good reason. Even in the deepest of winters, Miami and Miami Beach are still the warmest places in the United States, and I invite you to visit this wonderful region, in the southern most part of the East-Coast of the America.
If you have the time, enlarging the photos will show you, why I have settled in the Sunshine State of Florida, and why millions of visitors from around the world visit the beaches along the coasts of Florida every year. I can only wish, that some day soon, you will be one of them.
There are more photos below