Sunday, 8 February 2009

My new CNY tradition

Around here over CNY, people buy and display cat's tail willow (銀柳/雪柳) branches in their home, ornamented with plastic gold nuggets and coins, tied to the plant using red nylon strings. Perhaps this is the Taiwanese answer to the Christmas tree. I did what the Romans do, and I bought a bunch too, sans the cheesy and cheap plastic gold and nylon. It's in the culture here to wish people and themselves fortune, and I'm just not into it. I'd rather concentrate my good wishes on health and happiness. Anyway, I did a twist on the traditional decoration, and instead of peeling all the red shells off all the fuzzy white puffs, I left some on. And then I tied colorful paper cranes and strips of red paper. Inside each crane and strip of paper are wishes that I made. So it's a wish-making cat's tail willow!

When friends and family come over, I'll have them make a wish and add to my wish-making willow, which I'm sure will be a fun activity, and it will definitely add meaning to the display.

By the way, the red slips of paper were cut from red envelopes that people give over CNY here. So I have a Taiwanese piece of CNY decoration with Japanese ornaments, and all of it in a French clay vase.


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