Gung Hay Fat Choy*

by tiresomemoi

C’est l’Année du Cheval. Bonne année et bonne santé!

4712* (2014 in the Gregorian calendar) is the year of the Wood Horse. Wood Horse years bring fast victories, tragic defeats, unexpected adventures, and surprising romances. Decisiveness is rewarded, procrastination is not.

For those born in the year of the Horse your lucky colors are green, red and purple; your lucky numbers are three, four, and nine.

Today’s parade in the 13th in 7 pictures.

Horse girlsHorse girls

Lion legsLion legs

Big camerasBig cameras

Afternoon serenadeAfternoon serenade

Two facedTwo faced

Two dragonsTwo dragons

Tacked on, just before the end, was a mini Carnival themed contingent. There was also a man dressed as Buffalo Bill but I was to busy gaping to take his picture.

Just before the high kickDancing girls

* Gung Hay Fat Choy means, more or less, “Best wishes for a prosperous and good year.”

**Find everything you never needed to know about the Chinese calendar here.

Random tidbits:

Loud noises and bright lights are used to scare away the beast (be he lion, dragon, or otherwise), thus bringing prosperity and good fortune.

Red is the color of good luck, fortune, happiness, and abundance.

Dragons, too, represent good luck and good fortune, also prosperity.

If you don’t have a dragon try mandarin oranges, symbols of good fortune and abundance.

Lettuce symbolizes prosperity and a fresh start. The Chinese word for lettuce sounds like wealth, and in a traditional Chinese New Year lion dance, people hold out lettuce leaves tied to red envelopes containing money for the lion to “eat.”  The lion grabs the packets and scatters the lettuce — spreading good luck.

Last week, at the lion dance around the corner from my apartment:

Three lions and a head of lettuceThree lions


Apropos of nothing, I was hoping for some Chinese street food but no such luck. There were balloons to be had but not much else in the way of merchandise which, I suppose, is something to be thankful for. Still, steaming dumplings would have been greatly appreciated if only by me.