Thursday the 30th of January 2014
I would like to wish all of my friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues a Happy Lunar New Year or Happy Chinese New Year or 恭喜發財 (gōng xǐ fā cái) and I’m wishing you prosperity every year or 年年有餘 (nián nián yǒu yú). I was born in the year of the horse (1990) and 2014 is the year we’re saying goodbye to the snake and welcoming in the horse.
I read something rather contradictory to what I thought, as I presumed this would be a lucky year for me but supposedly “…while those born in the Year of the Horse are said to be stable, adventurous and extremely energetic, unfortunately this year they are going to have to lie low. According to Chinese philosophy, those born with the same zodiac sign as the year’s designated animal are going to have a particularly difficult year.”
However, I believe this is combated by the fact that I am starting the year overseas, which is said to balance the bad luck. I shouldn’t get married or make any big investments but I should do a lot of happy things and go to a lot of weddings… I’ll keep that in mind, no marriage proposals this year. When shopping in Taiwan, it is often unusual to see someone leave their receipt behind, which is a common occurrence in the UK. The reason for this is that the top of each receipt contains a lottery number. So, I have been saving my receipts for the 11-12 prize draw, so anything I bought in November or December.
The last three digits of every receipt I checked using this online checker:
733, 270, 353, 119, 945, 080, 261, 310, 799, 153, 221, 769, 756, 038, 048, 776, 125, 061, 176, 589, 840, 177, 357, 358, 526, 183, 150, 450, 035, 971, 967, 464, 739, 738, 903
I realise now that I had actually included receipts for the 1-2 prize draw (January and February). I’ve just separated all of them; I’ve thrown away the losing 11-12 receipts. I won NT $200 in the 11-12 Taiwan Receipt Lottery! My luck is already beginning to change! Huzzah!
I’m off work until Wednesday next week as it’s currently Lunar New Year’s Eve here in Taiwan and everyone is on holiday. I will have to wait until Wednesday to ask someone to help me with getting the prize money as there is a small form on the back that needs to be filled in and I have absolutely no idea what it says. If you’re an expat living in Taiwan and you need help with the lottery, this site is really useful.
The year of the horse begins with a Lunar New Year’s Eve dinner or 年夜飯 (nián yè fàn), usually involving a family reunion similar to the kind we might have at Christmas time. It is often considered the most important dinner for families here. Here is a Chinese New Year advertisement from Bernas, it made me cry. It’s not a new video but it’s a good one.
Yesterday I received my first red envelope or 紅包 (hóng bāo) and then I received another, I was so excited I couldn’t stop smiling. I opened them today and there was money in the first red envelope or 壓歲錢 (yā suì qián), then there was delicious chocolate and a lovely note from a TA in the second! I live opposite a temple so I believe tonight is going to be very noisy when they set off the firecrackers or 放鞭炮 (fàng biān pào)! I’m going to cook たこ焼き/蛸焼 or Takoyaki / octopus dumplings tonight for dinner. I’ll try to post a photograph later on, although I’m not really pleased with the previous photograph of my dinner.