Tomorrow February 3rd Koreans will celebrate their New Year (the Lunar New Year). This new year it will be the year of the rabbit. In Chinese astrology this animal represents kindness, sweetness, and beauty, characteristics that all this year’s newborns will (supposedly) share.
In Korea the lunar new year means three holidays in a row, and it’s a time when many Koreans travel back to their hometowns to visit their parents. Seoul becomes a dead city and its impossible to travel by road inside the country due to the traffic jams. Hence, for foreigners living here, the best alternative is to leave the country by any means… Tomorrow I’ll be lying down on some beach in Boracay, so I’ll greet you the new year now.
Shame on me for uploading the post with the trip to Shanghai with almost two months delay… but well, here is the result:D
We were lucky enough to visit Shanghai during Chinese New year, which is always celebrated some day between January 21st and February 21st (this year it was on februray 7th), depending on the lunisolar calendar.
The result was just awesome. Being the country of gunpowder you can imagine how Chinese celebrate their New Year… in China, not only can anybody buy a firecracker, but they can also buy true loads of gunpowder, children, adults… the point is to make noise, the more the better. As a sample of this, take a look at these videos, taken on New Year’s midnight in any street of Shanghai:
As for the city, Shanghai is full of contrasts, even more than Seoul. As soon as you leave the Bund, which is the “rich” area where all the skyscrapers are, the impression is sometimes that of going back in time like thirty years, poverty, ugly buildings, dirtiness…
Also, I could spend some days with Azusa, a friend from my American days with whom I also spent some days when I went to Japan, and who finally decided to join us in Shanghai. Tanja, also came with us from Seúl as part of her vacation period.
In the subway, from left to right, Alex, Ciro, Carlos, Itzíar, and Jairo.
The typical picture, with the Bund and its Pearl Tower on the background. It was a little cloudy, as it is usual in Shanghai (we were very lucky that it didn’t rain indeed).
One of the communist-oriented commercials that Adidas released for the Olimpic Games. (More of this series at el blog de chinochano.)
The almost-finished Shanghai World Financial Center on the left (492 m.) and the Jin Mao Tower on the right (421 m., although it looks taller becaouse of the perspective). Once finished, the first one will be the tallest building in the world (not including antennas).
Decorations for the New Year in the Old Town. Being New Year’s it was a national holiday, which explains why the lots of heads 🙂
Next to the Old Town, there was the Yuyuan Garden, one of the most popular gardens in China. This is one of its lakes.
The Old Town with lighting.
Having dinner with Azusa.
We also went to Zhouzhuang a city one hour by bus from Shanghai also known as the “Chinese Venice” (in spite of the evident differences…).
Azusa and Tanja. I like this pic:)
You can see all the (many) pictures from the trip here.