Chinese New Year is the celebration of the end of the lunar calendar. Chinese New Year festivities traditionally run from Chinese New Year's Eve, the last day of the lunar calendar to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month. The first day of the lunar new year falls between January 21st and February 20th, this year it was on February 19th. The Chinese New Year festival is a time to honor deities and ancestors. There are many regional customs and traditions surrounding this festival. Often families gather for an annual family reunion dinner, houses are thoroughly cleansed to sweep away ill-fortune and make room for good luck. Houses are decorated in red for good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity. Many people also light fireworks and give money in red paper envelopes.
The CNY tradition for many expat families is simple - get out of China! In the weeks leading up to the festival there is an exodus from the larger cities (where many people work) to the country (where their families live). During the festival there are fireworks being set off at all times of day/night (not great for babies who are trying to sleep or parents who want their babies to sleep) and many stores/restaurants are closed. Thus expats decide to go else where to enjoy there time off work.
|We have to sit on the plane for TWO EXTRA hours!! Are you kidding me?!?|
|Baby O did a lot of walking in the aisle while we waited to take off.|
|The fort wasn't too far from where we were staying but traffic in Manila is terrible,|
so Baby O had time to nap in the cab.
|I wasn't actually this close to the chickens...I zoomed in :)|
At the end of our trip we had one last day (half a day really) and night in Manila before heading back to Shanghai. I don't think I took any pictures that day. We went to the Mall of Asia. It is the 4th largest mall in the world. But you know, it didn't really seem that big to me. It did have an ice skating rink in it and I think we were only in two of the buildings. We got lunch and wondered around, but didn't by anything.
Next stop Alona Beach, Panglao Island.