'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.|