Bringing in the Year of the 亥 Pig

Trip Start Jun 05, 2011
Trip End Feb 28, 2013

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22, 2012 – Chinese New Year


The two hour drive to the market town provided beautiful rice terraced scenery in the high mountains and then, lower down, through the tropical climate zone, acres and acres of banana plantations that covered the mountain sides. It seemed every family was prepping a whole pig for special New Year dinner. Hair was torched and scraped off with knives. Then pig cut from throat to tail, inners gutted, the body chopped with axes and then sliced with knives. Nothing gets wasted. We were welcoming in the 'Year of the 亥 Pig' after all. And no they don't slaughter dragons in the year of the dragon. 
This town is Laomeng 老猛 and is the town in the area designated to have the Sunday market.

The town was bustling with colorfully clad Dai, Hani, Miao, Yao, and Yi women buying and selling; Miao in pleated skirts and black wraps on their calves. And the Yao women in black slacks and tunics and elaborate high narrow rectangular hats with hot pink tassels on each side. This was a great blend of local minorities.
Jacky shopped for vegetables for New Year feast his parents were preparing for our special dinner. 

Two hours at the market was enough. We were back in Duoyishu village before 3PM.

Dinner was served at 8:00. Guest included:

-- Sho and Tomoko san, a Japanese couple working in M&A for a prominent accounting firm in Shanghai
--a Chinese couple from Shenzhen (didn't speak much English)
--a Philippine couple, Carlo and his wife, ( living in Beijing; he is an interior designer and an avid photographer.
-- A Malaysian girl traveling alone 
-- three young French women (Catharine, Lou, Chouchou) who recently moved to Hangzhou, south of Shanghai. Lou and Chouchou are project management interns and Cath works at a firm specializing in Intellectual Property law.
-- Dave the Scot, and
-- us

The table was set banquet style, laden with traditional local (Hani) dishes. They had not slaughtered their own pig but had plates of a very fatty smoked pork dish along with myriad of delicious other; tofu, egg, liver, stir-fried vegetables dishes, etc. Jacky brought out a bottle of French wine for the special occasion and a large plastic gallon-plus jug of local home brew bijou, akin to paint thinner, for the frequent toasting that goes on about a Chinese table. Jacky’s parents, who had been preparing the dinner all day and evening, eagerly joined the toasts and bottoms-up games. The Malay girl kept up with the men. Instead of small amounts, she was happy to down 4 ounces or more at a gulp. Dave stuck to beer and I just went through the motion merely touching the liquor to my lips. After everyone else got happily soused, it was time to light off the strings of firecrackers and watch fireworks over the terraces. 
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