Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy New Year!

Gong Xi Fa Ca!  - Wishing you prosperity! Today marks the beginning of Krista's year - the year of the Snake. In the Chinese Zodiac, a 12-year cycle continually revolves and each year is a different animal. In addition, the ancient elements are also thrown into the mix and this is the turn of "water".

The fireworks in our area were a bit subdued last night. We also did not get our red banners onto the front door until the first day of the new year.

Why is the lack of fireworks and red banners important? According to legend, these are the things that keep the monster from coming into our house and gobbling us up. Fortunately, we made it through the night to have a great day.

The roads were busy as people drove to visit family and go to temples. We decided to hike through bamboo and forest to a temple that commands the view over the hills near our school. To get to the temple, we walked up the road until the obvious marker had us turn up.

Towards the top, a series of statues lined the way to views of a smoggy day while beautiful flowers added color.

Sage checks out the view and the Buddha.

Xian had chosen this time to snuggle-in on her mom's back so she missed the opportunity to talk with the wee ones.

Surprisingly, this was our first time up to the temple even though it is a short walk from our school. On the way back we decided to head off of the paved road and wander along a hard packed trail. Fortunately, steep sections contained stairs instead of Audrey's trail nemesis - logs. She loved being on the trail!

Guessing on the side trail that would take us off the ridge and back towards the Freeca, we followed a path leading through small temple-like areas that seemed just a bit...odd. A few dogs appeared as if they wanted to take a piece out of Audrey on the way down but backed off and we returned without incident. All in all, the outing was a nice way to bring in the year of the Snake.

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