Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fu Dao Le



          'Fu Dao Le' ! sound's weird? Well ,this is a Chinese word  and let me tell you the reason for writing this post.It is the Chinese new year and spring festival season and the term is related to that.So here's wishing a very happy and prosperous new year to the Chinese readers if any:).According to the Chinese calender, year 2011 is 4078 for them and is regarded as the  'year of Rabbit /'Xin Mao' .Last year 2010 was 'year of tiger'.They have animals as mascots for representing their years ,and they have 12 animals as mascots and these year names are repeated in a sequence every 12 years.This year , Chinese new year falls on the 3 rd February,which is today!
           I learnt about Fu Dao Le through my opposite house resident ,who has her origins from China.Last Evening as I was having a stroll in front of my apartment ,I noticed that the opposite house had  Red banner attached  to  the front door with golden color scripts written in Chinese and also some decorative elements and pictures of Chinese god/goddess/dragons attached to it .On inquiring her with utmost curiosity,she narrated to me explaining that it was their new year and  they  have the tradition of placing this particular banner on the front door during the new year to fill their upcoming year full of luck and cheers. The script mainly had the word 'Fu' which was written upside down and  was comprehended by anyone visiting the home as 'Fu Dao Le'='Luck has arrived'.Actually ,the word 'Fu' means luck ;'Dao Le 'means 'has come' and also word Dao is used in another sense too which means 'down or  to fall'.So ,when the 'Fu' word  is written  upside down ,it is understood and read as 'Fu Dao Le'.The purpose of placing these posters on the door  during their new year ,was to invite the fortune or good luck .The color red in the banner signified  danger sign to  the monster 'Nian ',who visited the Chinese houses during the New year's eve.It was believed that the  particular color would frighten the monster which also signified bad omen.
            Today morning,inspired by their traditions, I also visited the "Ranch Market"near my place,which is an exclusive Chinese market which sells all the Chinese grocery items,vegetables ,fruits and mainly sea food.The place was decorated for new year with red lanterns and bells all over the ceiling ;some decorative items ,red traditional greeting cards,food stuff for sale and was crowded for the festival sales.There I talked to a few people and learnt a few other interesting facts. The Chinese new year lasts fro 15 days from day 1 ,till the full moon day .The full moon day is another festival for them and is 'Lantern festival',which is also celebrated by lighting various colorful lanterns outside the houses and streets and a hearty family  dinner with steamed dumplings . A strange fact what a lady explained to me was that,on the new year day ,they would not clean the house, as that would reflect that they would be sweeping away all the fortune for the house!Amazed and perplexed ,I returned back home wondering about the traditions.

PS:Here are few photographs from the Ranch Market.

Beautiful  Red Lanterns decorated.
                                                                                    
Lantern and a bell 

Chinese script read as 'Happy new year'(as told by the cashier)


Some beautiful greeting cards

Some decorative items and festive sale items displayed.

27 comments:

A said...

Happy Chinese New Year :))))

Very good description. I can use it in my next China trip.

kasthurirajam said...

so pretty .happy chinese new year

raji said...

@A ,I will covey this to my nieghbor:)
@kasthuri ,thanks

Mangala said...

Interesting...nice to know abt different cultures! Thanks for the info

rama said...

Happy Chinese New year. Nice pictures. Soon our new year is also coming.

rama said...

Happy Chinese New year. Nice pictures. Soon our new year is also coming.

Abhilash Pillai said...

Fu Dao Le!

Nice to read and see new traditions. Loved the read.

Gizmo-King said...

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

Mangala said...

Hi, please collect ur award from my blog!

Bikramjit said...

Lovely pics
and heres wishing you too a Happy new year :)

you could have put those pics for thursday challenge the topic was RED :)



Bikram's

Alka Gurha said...

New Year for 15 days...wow. Very informative.

NRIGirl said...

Cool :) Raji!

That was a smart post with all those lovely pictures.

I must admit reading the words, "steamed dumblings" made my mouth water.

Thank you for taking us along in your trip to the local Asian market.

Mak said...

nice narration.

Dropped in here through Mangala. Congratulations for your award. You deserve it. :) Very nice blog.

raji said...

@abhi,mangala ,gizmo.thanks a lot.

@Bikram..oh!I never knew there was a thursday chalenge like tht.is it in blog a ton?

@nri,thanks a lot.

@Mak .thanks for visiting.:)

raji said...

ALKA ,True ,it's strange that they celebrate new year and spring festival for 15 days

Onkar said...

Interesting info and lovely pictures.

dr.antony said...

There is a huge Chinese mall here, called the " Dragon Mall",full of Chinese items.The artifacts are unique.

raji said...

@onkar ..thanks

@DR .Anthony ,oh that's nice ..to explore new places and shops.

Daanish said...

a cool post

Jyothi said...

What a lovely read this was. Nice to know about Chinese new year. Lovely pictures.

Ms. Neha Gandhi said...

I like the fact that u took interest in a festival that you did not grow up celebrating and moreover made efforts to understand its significance.

Lovely description and great pictures too.

raji said...

@danish,jyothi and neha thanks a lot..

sm said...

'Fu Dao Le'='Luck has arrived'
thanks for meaning of the word.

Stranger said...

Interesting post and beautiful snaps. Thank you for letting us know about Chinese New year...

"Fu Dao Le"... to you

vineet said...

nice pics and nicely caricatured post,happy new year in chinese way as well

IRFANUDDIN said...

hhmmmm... seems, i am little late here...
neways.... wish u all good to come in days ahead....

and thanx for sparing ur time at my space.. i am honored....plz do have a look at my new post, when time permits...

Best wishes,
irfan

raji said...

@sm ,strnager ,vineet ,irfaan thanks a lot for your comments.