Today was a very auspicious start to Owen’s new year. It being the first day of the new calendar, older Chinese have their pockets filled with little red envelopes of cash. Called 压岁钱 yasuiqian (literally, “press down on age money”), the little gifts are usually intended for kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews. But Owen is probably the Western World’s biggest fan of Chinese old people, and with his new attention-getting trick of shouting “Eh!” and waving at anybody nearby he wants to interact with, he managed to get enough red envelopes thrust by passing elderly into his grabby little hands to make a good start on his college fund. (Okay, the total was about USD12.) We might have known better than to go on New Year’s Day to a couple ancestral halls and Hong Kong’s main temple–but hey, practically nothing else is open today.
We’re currently trying to get to bed, but the new year’s dragon dance parade is loudly progressing immediately below our little 5th-floor guesthouse room. Scheduled to end over an hour ago, it looks like it could still have another hour to go. The nth dragon just went past, and now they’re blasting a muzak version of an ABBA song as a bunch of kids with swords run by.
An auspicious start to the year indeed.