I don't know what to be more excited about: Super Bowl today, Olympics later this week or, as of two days ago, the second New Year's celebration in a month.
Friday began Year of the Horse in the Chinese calendar. I was one of many to enjoy a chilly lion dance outside Golden Gate Restaurant yesterday afternoon. Lots of cymbol crashing and drum beating to scare away evil spirits and purify the area of negative and stale chi.
It was nice to see Senator Paul Farrow and Alderman Kathlene Cummings as well as mayoral candidate Shawn Reilly welcoming in the New Year. Even ran into my niece and sister-in-law among the large crowd.
I'd witnessed a similar New Year's celebration years ago, but still there were surprises. A nice surprise was being the recipient of a small red envelope containing lucky money. I'm guessing the tradition has it that if you share money on the New Year you'll enjoy health, wealth and happiness throughout the year, but do you spend the lucky money? Where? At the establishment handing it out would be a good start. I heard the Cantonese Combination is a good dish.
One other item surprised me. How long does it take to blow off 10,000 to 20,000 firecrackers? Less time than you'd think. It seemed only ten seconds had passed between the first pop and the last. Likely a religious exception was made, but also surprised someone would be allowed to explode that many firecrackers within the city limits without getting into trouble.