Happy New Year!! Xin nian kuai le!! 新年快乐

"its fire-cracker day!" ...Asia exclaimed with glee this morning! We celebrated with a large breakfast and a brisk walk outside to play in the snow. It was really warm today (25F) and lots of people were out buying huge boxes of Mandarin oranges to give as presents.

Actually - today (Jan 25th, 2009) is the EVE of the lunar new year. Tomorrow will mark the year 4706 on the Chinese calendar - the Year of the Ox. And the most famous OX this year?? President Barack Obama!!

THE OX: a sign of prosperity thru perseverance and hard work. People born in this year are said to be "born leaders," being dependable, calm, modest & patient. Oxen are considered to be tireless in their work and capable of enduring hardship without complaint. Oxen tend to be logical, systematic and have great imagination & appreciation for beauty. They speak little, but are extremely intelligent. They can be highly articulate & eloquent. These ideas are all based on the Chinese zodiac calendar.

Most of the evening - fireworks were lighting the sky with color, and the streets were LOUD. We got some video of the display outside...and it went on for 45 minutes straight! Then it began again at 5:00am. Luckily, the kids slept thru it all!! *here's a 5 minute clip!!

For some reason the quality isn't that great, but it gives you an idea of how loud the fireworks were. Adjust your volume first!! - turn it UP for the full effect.