New Year's Eve...

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Feb 21, 2011

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Flag of Taiwan  ,
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I woke up fairly early to my surprise. My aunt and uncle invited me to breakfast at a local stand.  They had a couple of boilers, fryers, and hot plates heated by propane tanks on the side to make a makeshift cooking place.  We had some traditional Chinese breakfast. I had a long fried dough strip called a Cow Tail with some hot and sweet soy bean soup.  In all, our meal cost 6 dollars for the three of us.

My uncle and I went to go hit some golf balls at the driving range.  Not too exciting.  He did help me with my swing and I think I improved drastically.

Since this was New Years Eve, we had a big dinner in the evening.  Everyone was playing Mahjong except for some of the ladies preparing the food and, of course, me.  I can't play real well and because they were gambling with money, I opted to not play

My youngest uncle was burning fake money for the gods and dead family members for the after life.  They needed it to travel to a certain place and back, but I didn't catch where.  It was quite funny because he had specific amounts for each of my great grandparents and my grandmother, unknowingly, mixed them together and he got upset.  I guess it was a big deal to him.  Before the start of dinner, he let off some firecrackers to ward off evil spirits and then again after dinner.  We had 4 empty places for the family that had passed on.  After we were finished eating, we passed out red envelopes with money.  I gave some to my younger cousins and I received some from some of the elders.  When cleaning up, you are not allowed to use a broom.  Chinese believe if you use a broom, you might accidentally sweep your good fortune for the coming year away.

I included a picture of my great grandparents to show the candles and incense burning for them.  And we also stayed up until midnight before heading home. When we walked home, you can see all the people outside burning money in outdoor pits and also all of the firecrackers going off.  It’s not so much the party scene during the New Years.
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