The Year of the Monkey has arrived and they’re celebrating at Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland. A full week of festivities including calligraphy lessons, dragon dances, music in the teahouse and four nights of night-time lantern viewing. Today we’re in for some dragon dancing.
The garden is decorated beautifully for the holiday with red lanterns, dragons, and a wishing tree. Plus, the spring appears to be arriving a little early because some of the trees have started to flower.
Chinese wishing trees are a big part of Chinese New Year festivities. Every year, billions of people around the world gather to toss their red ribbons up into the wishing tree with hope that it will stick and their wish will come true for good fortune in the coming year.
An on-site calligrapher writes your Chinese zodiac symbol (I’m a dog) or the Chinese Chengyu of your choice on the traditional red paper. These are called Fai Chun. Chinese people put Fai Chun in their doorways to create jubilant, festive atmosphere since the phrases written on it mean good luck and prosperity for the coming year.
As time draws near for the Dragon Dancers to take the stage, people crowd around to get ready for the show.