Happy Year of the Ox!
Happy Year of the Ox to all you readers out there!
Not Surprisingly, the Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year, for those who prefer this term) is the beginning of a long 9-day holiday for those of us working in Taiwan.
In addition to the wonderful family get-together meals and red envelopes, one of the most interesting events of Lunar New Year is the visit to local temples.
At midnight (could be anywhere between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. on New Year Day), the temple door will swing open to welcome in the Year of the Ox. As customs dictate, the first person to make the incense offering (usually involves throwing the incense into the main burner) will be blessed for the entire year.
That’s pretty good for all believers. Unfortunately, not many people have the physical capabilities to beat other contenders to that huge incense burner and throw in the incense (especially the older people – they are in danger from their younger counterparts).
Anyways, it was the first time for me to pass midnight at a local temple, and witnessing what happens at that fateful moment.
It’s really quite an experience!
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