Friday, February 7, 2014

Chinese New Year 2.0

For many Chinese folks, Chinese New Year is the time of year to head home and celebrate the New Year with family and friends.   For many expats, it’s a time to take a week to explore new countries.  This year, Chris and I decided to use this time to recover from our trip to Australia and celebrate Chinese New Year in Shanghai.

Many people decorate their homes with small orange trees.  The fruit is supposed to give people luck and money for the New Year.
We also ate xiaolongbao for good luck.
Chinese New Year Shanghai is quite different from regular Shanghai.  The only sound on the street is that of fireworks being lit to scare away monsters and catch the gods’ attentions.  Except for some Western restaurants, most eating establishments are closed or run a limited menu.  The grocery stores have shortened hours.  Business pretty much screeches to a halt for a week.  If you close your eyes and forget it’s New Year, it feels kind of like a post zombie apocalypse.

The area around our apartment was quite empty for a week.
The emptiness of the city and post vacation blues made it very easy for me to feel homesick.  In an effort to combat these lonely feelings, Chris and I decided to celebrate New Year’s Day the best way we knew how: at the Yu Bazaar.  I think every person in Shanghai headed to Yu Bazaar on New Years Day!  Masses of people ventured out to see the beautiful lanterns!

Welcome to the Yu Bazaar, the place to be on Chinese New Year's Day! 
Some of the lanterns symbolized health and good fortune for the New Year!

Other lanterns told fairy tales.

The mix of lanterns and people cured my homesickness!  Click here for directions to Yu Gardens.  Xinnian Kuaile!