There was a towering gold horse, of course, with smoke streaming out his huge bedazzled nostrils (what the Hell, might as well add to the hazy polluted skies) as well as Snow White & the Dwarfs, Mary & Joseph, the Easter Bunny and many other sequined and totally unconnected characters all featured at Yu Yuan Gardens in an over-the-top Chinese New Year Celebration for the Year of the Horse. It didn’t make any sense whatsoever but it was quite the show that you just have to experience to believe
Crazy, right? This is THE place to see Chinese New Year decorations in Shanghai, similar to perhaps Rockefeller Center in NYC but much more colorful and crazy. I’m just glad that I’m not here for the Year of the Rat–can’t even imagine an enormous rat taking center stage for all this hoopla! Yu Yuan also has gardens, closed when we visited, plus a huge array of shops that attracts LOTS of tourists as well as locals looking for Chinese New Year decorations.
After my office got all dolled up for the holiday, I just had to dress up our house as well. I got all the essentials–red hanging lanterns with lots of gold accents, a red metallic stuffed pony, red velvet knotted hanging thing with sequined gold pony and fish, etc. When in Rome! I bargained hard but the vendors were tough to negotiate down in price this time. All in all, I got all my tacky colorful decorations for under $40
I finally found a nice stall with a pleasant young man to carry around my stuff as I picked it all out. Thom, of course, wanted nothing to do with the process and waited outside as I haggled like the stubborn mule I have been accused of being and probably am. Now, Thom gets to hang the shit all over the apartment as we start to stock up on groceries and DVD’s. You see, we have been warned by Fiona, our Chinese teacher, that you’ll get a firecracker up your ass if you step outside during Chinese New Year and we trust Fiona. We plan on hunkering down for the first few days of the holiday, that really goes on for about 40 days as everyone travels back to their families to celebrate. Midway during the holiday period, if we survive the toxic fumes from all the fireworks going off to ensure wealth and happiness (but obviously not good health) in the New Year, we are going to go to Vietnam where we will no doubt have more crazy adventures. Stay tuned!
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