Time for Fireworks

CHINESE NEW YEAR. That time of year has come around again. When family reunites, the feasting never ends, houses turn into gambling dens, there are flashes of red and gold everywhere, mandarins are passed around, the same way-too-happy songs are played, lion dancers prance about, and red packets are received from all directions. This year, everyone welcomed the Year of the Snake. The people here take ‘welcoming with a bang’ really quite literally, and fireworks have been going off at all times of day. Shanghai was the quietest I’ve ever seen it, as everyone disappeared to their hometowns. Myself included.

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I never appreciate the reptile years too much, received way too many snakes in all shapes and sizes in my inbox. What I do appreciate however, is China’s five day public holiday. To think that I used to whinge that the Chinese factories have closed down for two weeks and our order of 5,000 blue customised pens with little white logos have now been delayed. No complaints now!

Some do take things a little more seriously and illegal snake smuggling seems to have become quite the problem.

“More than 2,000 rat snakes and cobras, packed in blue mesh bags which were in turn hidden in over 200 polystyrene boxes, were part of a shipment declared as fresh fruit.” (via AsianScientist)

No matter what time of year, can’t imagine who would have an intense longing to go out of their way to smuggle a snake to slither around their house. Nonetheless, to each his own.

Here’s some information on the Year of the Snake…

Apparently, people born in the Year of the Snake have magnetic personalities and usually have a good sense of humor. Their strengths include being successful, smart, humorous, sophisticated and analytical. A nice bunch, so it seems – born on the years 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, and well…2013.

Famous people born in the Year of the Snake
• Kanye West
• Oprah Winfrey
• John F Kennedy
• Pablo Picasso

So Happy New Year to you all once again, and may you all receive a gold nugget under your pillow for being good this year!

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