Just when the West thinks it's all over for the holidays until next year (with the exception of a card for Valentine's Day or a good Halloween party), Asia is gearing up for Lunar New Year. Called by various names like Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, this holiday signals renewal, rebirth and another chance at a lucky year. This Monday will begin the Year of the Dragon, and, as usual, decorators nation-wide (well, probably continent-wide) are going nuts for Dragons. 

I've found the debate in the China Daily newspaper over whether Chinese dragons should be fierce or cute to be very interesting. Here's some more links if you'd like to check them out.http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2012-01/18/content_14465416.htm, and  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-16422945

Also, near our apartment, the city has set up its yearly Flower Street, where entrepreneurs and school groups man booths to sell flowers and trinkets to people before the New Year. Prices were high when we checked out the street on Thursday.  If there are any left, we may go back when the street is winding up on Monday and buy some jonquils and chyrsanthemums for half price.

Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快乐!

I often see some strange English translations around town. When I have the camera with me, I take a picture of it: