It's good luck tradition in China to eat 长寿面 for your birthday. 长 (chang) means 'long,' 寿 (shou) means 'life,' and 面 (mian) is noodles. These noodles are very long and symbolize the long life you will lead.
Reports from Beijing are that it sounds like a war zone tonight. Here in Shenzhen I'm only hearing a sprinkling of firecrackers in the far off distance (other than the small fireworks pictured below that I just passed on the street).
And just like that, Shenzhen's population has increased by 50% within 48 hours. Everyone around me is carrying luggage and edible treats from back home.
Coco Park metro station. Futian, Shenzhen.
Went to my friend's apartment to look after her cat as she is out of town for holiday. Then went to KingKey 100 to drink a White Russia 101 stories up.
Grand Theater, Luohu, Shenzhen.
Literally. I just cleaned house all day.
Below is a selection of photos I took at the 2013 Hong Kong CNY holiday fireworks display. I watched the display from Kowloon and it ran about 20 minutes starting at 8 pm. The display was not as big as the one I viewed in Korea last year but it was still a lot more impressive than I was expecting. Below the following photos is video I took of the display. All photos I took (and at full resolution) can be found in the gallery.
Babies and Baijiu. New Years Dinner. Qingqing World, Nanshan, Shenzhen.
Me neither. Mark it down as something else new to see during CNY.
Eerily quiet, like one of those Hollywood disaster movies where half the population has already skipped town in anticipation of the oncoming fireball/super virus/alien attack and the other half of the population trudges around silently in anticipation of their coming doom.
Gym is closed for 12 days :.(
If there's any question how important and attractive Chinese tourists are becoming, check out the official Flash advertisement (I took a screenshot as quickly as I could) that I came across tonight from Las Vegas advertising their city to potential Chinese tourists for the upcoming February Chinese New Years holiday. The Mandarin in the advertisement to the right says, "quickly plan your journey." Below is a picture of the official Las Vegas website.
I then went to Google and searched for Las Vegas/Chinese New Years-related articles. Here's some of what I found:
The holiday ranks among the busiest times on the Strip, along with New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl weekend, which coincides with the beginning on Chinese New Year.
“Chinese New Year very important to us financially, maybe not in terms of overall visitor count, but clearly for gaming volumes, especially baccarat. The financial impact can rival what the town experiences for New Year’s Eve,” said Greg Shulman, vice president of international marketing for the Bellagio.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's international sales department has been working closely with tour operators to bring more Chinese tourists from mainland China. Casinos along the Strip are displaying elaborate attractions to welcome the visitors.
The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has five hand painted dragons with more than 20,000 scales each. They also have more than 22,000 colorful flowers.
The Palazzo will display a 128-foot fire-breathing dragon. And the atriums at the Wynn will have about 8,000 red and yellow mums, silk dragons and lots of sculptures.
While there are no precise numbers, tourism officials here estimate tens of thousands of Asian and Asian American visitors - from the Bay Area, Beijing and many places between and beyond - are ringing in Lunar Year 4706 not in their homes with large extended families, but in Sin City, where extravagant feasts, themed entertainment and, yes, a little gambling fit in with long-held traditions for the holiday.
OK, a lot of gambling.
Casino owners, firm believers that you make your own luck, have been raising the stakes each year - elaborate exhibits; banners around every corner wishing good fortune, prosperity, long life; concerts by pop stars from Taiwan; lion dances; and culinary festivals with food prepared and served by staffs flown from Beijing - to make sure that, win or lose, guests still feel lucky.
In a single night during the Lunar New Year last year, Wynn's Las Vegas resort won $16 million in table gambling, the biggest tables-game night in its history. Asked at an investor conference about the Chinese business in Las Vegas, Sands' CEO Sheldon Adelson described gambling as a "linchpin" of the Chinese culture. "In my second life, I'm coming back as Chinese," he said.
Maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised to come across a Las Vegas Chinese New Year travel ad.
Starting the year right. Happy Valley Bar & Grill. Happy Valley, Hong Kong.
Today is January 4th, 2013. It is a day when you should find the one you love and confess your true feelings. Why is this? Written another way, today is 2013 - 1 - 4. In Mandarin, characters can sometimes be matched to the numbers they sound like. The Mandarin pronunciation of the number 2 sounds a lot like the Chinese character 爱 (ai - love) and 0 sounds like 你 (ni - you). 3 sounds like 生 (sheng - life) and 4 is similar to 世 (shi - world). Finally, The character for 1 is literally 一 (yi).
So when you say the numbers 201314 in order using the Mandarin pronunciation, it sounds a little like your saying "爱你一生一世," meaning "I love you this whole life on this one world."
爱你一生一世. I'll love you forever. Now go out and wish your love a happy January 4th, 2013. This is the only chance you'll get.
I want to wish everyone a peaceful, prosperous, and safe 2013.
Fumin Road, Futian, Shenzhen.