I was lucky enough to be in Hong Kong during the Chinese New Year this year. In China it’s known as the Spring Festival.
In case you were wondering, the inventors of fireworks are still the undisputed champions.
The whole show was about 30 minutes, non-stop explosive action. Here’s ten minutes. I shot this video from Wan Chai, looking out at Tsim Sha Tsui. Amazing show!
Chinese New Year Fireworks – Hong Kong – February 11, 2013
…when the night and day are equally divided, Buddha appears on earth for a week to save stray souls and lead them to Nirvana.”
Thus, in Japan the Sundays prior to the spring equinox (shuubun no hi) and the fall equinox (shunbun no hi) are known as O-higan. Days on which families visit and honor the graves of the departed. Ancestors are said to watch over the family like tutelary, …Read more
White Day is the complementary holiday of Valentine’s Day in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Valentine’s Day is celebrated as well, but a little differently than in the U.S.
On Valentine’s Day women generally give gifts of chocolate and the sort to the men in their lives: giri choco (obligatory chocolate) and honmei-choco (chocolate with a romantic connotation).
“Giri choco …Read more
We tend to think of the environmental movement as something recent, that came along when the city passed out those big purple or blue recycling bins. But Tree-Planting Day is an ancient ritual in many cultures.
Arbor Day in China was originally a seasonal holiday observed during the Qingming Festival. Qingming means “Clear and Bright” (and no, it is not Scrabble eligible). Qingming falls 104 days after the winter solstice, on April 4th or 5th. During this time …Read more
March 10, 1959
It’s been over 50 years since the fated tragic uprising of Tibet in March 1959.
Mao Zedong’s newly empowered government invaded Tibet in 1950 to repudiate the state’s autonomy and enforce the communist line.
The Tibetan governor was taken prisoner by the People’s Liberation Army, leaving a 15 year-old Dalai Lama as the region’s leader. Opposition to Chinese rule grew steadily during the 1950s coming to a head in 1959.
The Khampas—the small Tibetan guerilla fighting force—requested …Read more
“A man’s usefulness to the revolutionary cause is like a screw in a machine. It is only by the many, many interconnected and fixed screws that the machine can move freely, increasing its enormous work power.”— from the Diary of Lei Feng
Since 1963, March 5th has been known as “Emulate Lei Feng Day” in China. Under Chairman Mao Zedong, schools would study Lei Feng’s diary, create Lei Feng teams to serve their communities, and teach …Read more
It’s Hina Matsuri, or Doll Day in Japan.
But no, your old “Tickle Me Elmo” and Molly McIntire won’t cut it. These dolls are often handed down from generation to generation, and are displayed in a very ritualized manner once a year.
A full set of “Hina Ningyo” dolls can cost anywhere from $400 to $10,000, and consists of roughly 15 pieces—”figurines” may be a more accurate term. The main two dolls are the O-Dairi-sama and …Read more
228 Peace Memorial Park – Taipei
It started with a woman selling cigarettes.
February 27, 1947: Lin Jian-Mai was peddling black market cigarettes at a portable stand on Taiping Road in Taipei, Taiwan (then Formosa), when she was caught and arrested by anti-smuggling police from the “Kuomintang” (Chiang Kai-Shek’s Nationalist Chinese government). During the arrest she yelled and struggled with the agents, who had taken her wares and her cash. As a gathering crowd watched …Read more