Archive for holiday

Home for the Holidays

Posted in Asian Winter Odyssey 2010-11, Travel North America with tags , , , , , , , on June 6, 2014 by Yarn Over New York

December 2010- The last time I was home for Christmas.  At the time, I was living in Macau and in the midst of a mandatory 55 day waiting period before re-entering on a new visa.  Therefore, I was traveling for 2 glorious months.  I spent a few days home for the holidays with friends and family.  I saw a bunch of high school friends and shocked my family with my blue hair.

Mandatory “kids” tree photo

The Monstrosity (NOT my house)

My cousin is SO tall

My most memorable moment was definitely my final rabies treatment.

 

See more photos here (including visits with friends).

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Merry Monkeys

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Crochet and Knit, Esplanade, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2012 by Yarn Over New York

I posted earlier that I was doing a crochet/ amigurumi Monkeyful Christmas Countdown.  I had set my goal at 10 monkeys by Christmas.  As it turns out, I only needed to make eight.  (One for each of my 6 students, one for Tracey and one for Helen).

“Skinny Monkey” number 3 of 8

The first four monkeys went really quickly and I had completed them with weeks to spare.  Then wrist and finger pain caused me to pause for a few days.

Rainbow Monkey

Monkeys 5 and 6 happened eventually and then I paused again as my friends Marshall and Lionel came to visit.

Fuzzy Head (Tiger) Monkey

Greeny

This resulted in me having only THREE DAYS to crochet my last two monkeys.  I did make it, but I had to stay up until 3am on the night of the 23rd to finish the last monkey for my students.

Sunrise Monkey- possibly my most favorite monkey ever!

The Finale Monkey- Watermelon

My students and their monkeys

Travel Theme: Festive

Posted in Life in Singapore, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , on December 25, 2012 by Yarn Over New York

Merry Christmas Dudes!

This is my second installment of Weekly Travel Theme from Where’s My Backpack.  This week’s theme is Festive (aka Christmas).

2012

I’ll start off with a very local festive photo.

This is me and my students celebrating Christmas 2012 with crocheted monkeys in Singapore.

2011

Christmas 2011 in Singapore was the season of the Elephant Parade.  I had several fairly quiet parties with work friends and Jason’s friends.  All in all it was a fairly mellow Christmas. (Though the Stage Management department did do a Secret Santa and my Santa gifted me with wool for needle felting!!!)

I love my NON-White Christmas!! No snow!! No cold!!

2010

It’s funny when “home” becomes “travel.”  I was fortunate enough to be home (DC metro area) for Christmas in 2010, though at the time I was living in Macau AND in the middle of a 6 month travel extravaganza that I call my Asian Winter Odyssey.

While in MD, my friends and I cruised my the house that we call “The Monstrosity”

I consider this one worthy of two photos. Yes Santa IS riding a weird unicycle/wheelchair and saying “Feliz Navidad.” Don’t ask me.

2009

Nothing says “Weihnachten” like Glühwein in Germany.  (Glühwein is a tasty spicy mulled hot wine served in Northern Europe around the holiday season.)  In 2010, my friends and I traveled from Belgium to Cologne, Germany to visit the Christmas Markets and freeze our noses off!

The view from our hotel room

2008

Christmas 2008 served as a good-bye for me.  It was the last time I saw my family before leaving NYC and the USA to live in Belgium.

Doesn’t my Dad look FESTIVE?

Merry Christmas — Happy Holidays — Season’s Greetings!!

Mid-Autumn Festival

Posted in Life in Macau with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

中秋節

A Moon Cake

For the past two days here in Macau we have been celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival.  Here is the story of the festival according to wikipedia (I know I’m lazy to quote wiki, but oh well.)

“Celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival is strongly associated with the legend of Houyi and Chang’e, the Moon Goddess of Immortality. Tradition places these two figures from Chinese mythology at around 2200 BCE, during the reign of the legendary Emperor Yao, shortly after that of Huangdi. Unlike many lunar deities in other cultures who personify the moon, Chang’e simply lives on the moon but is not the moon per se.

There are many variants and adaptations of the legend of Chang’e that frequently contradict each other. However, most versions of the legend involve some variation of the following elements: Houyi, the Archer, an emperor, either benevolent or malevolent, and an elixir of life.

One version of the legend states that Houyi was an immortal and Chang’e was a beautiful young girl, working in the palace of the Jade Emperor (the Emperor of Heaven) as an attendant to the Queen Mother of the West (the Jade Emperor’s wife). Houyi aroused the jealousy of the other immortals, who then slandered him before the Jade Emperor. Houyi and his wife, Chang’e, were subsequently banished from heaven. They were forced to live on Earth. Houyi had to hunt to survive and became a skilled and famous archer.

At that time, there were ten suns, in the form of three-legged birds, residing in a mulberry tree in the eastern sea. Each day one of the sun birds would have to travel around the world on a carriage, driven by Xihe, the ‘mother’ of the suns. One day, all ten of the suns circled together, causing the Earth to burn. Emperor Yao, the Emperor of China, commanded Houyi to use his archery skill to shoot down all but one of the suns. Upon completion of his task, the Emperor rewarded Houyi with a pill that granted eternal life. Emperor Yao advised Houyi not to swallow the pill immediately but instead to prepare himself by praying and fasting for a year before taking it. Houyi took the pill home and hid it under a rafter. One day, Houyi was summoned away again by Emperor Yao. During her husband’s absence, Chang’e, noticed a white beam of light beckoning from the rafters, and discovered the pill. Chang’e swallowed it and immediately found that she could fly. Houyi returned home, realizing what had happened he began to reprimand his wife. Chang’e escaped by flying out the window into the sky.

Houyi pursued her halfway across the heavens but was forced to return to Earth because of strong winds. Chang’e reached the moon, where she coughed up part of the pill. Chang’e commanded the hare that lived on the moon to make another pill. Chang’e would then be able to return to Earth and her husband.

The legend states that the hare is still pounding herbs, trying to make the pill. Houyi built himself a palace in the sun, representing “Yang” (the male principle), in contrast to Chang’e’s home on the moon which represents “Yin” (the female principle). Once a year, on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Houyi visits his wife. That is the reason why the moon is very full and beautiful on that night.

This description appears in written form in two Western Han dynasty (206 BC-24 AD) collections; Shan Hai Jing, the Classic of the Mountains and Seas and Huainanzi, a philosophical classic.

Another version of the legend, similar to the one above, differs in saying that Chang’e swallowed the pill of immortality because Peng, one of Houyi’s many apprentice archers, tried to force her to give the pill to him. Knowing that she could not fight off Peng, Chang’e had no choice but to swallow the pill herself.

Other versions say that Houyi and Chang’e were still immortals living in heaven at the time that Houyi killed nine of the suns. The sun birds were the sons of the Jade Emperor, who punished Houyi and Chang’e by forcing them to live on Earth as mortals. Seeing that Chang’e felt extremely miserable over her loss of immortality, Houyi decided to find the pill that would restore it. At the end of his quest, he met the Queen Mother of the West, who agreed to give him the pill, but warned him that each person would only need half a pill to regain immortality. Houyi brought the pill home and stored it in a case. He warned Chang’e not to open the case, and then left home for a while. Like Pandora in Greek mythology, Chang’e became curious. She opened up the case and found the pill, just as Houyi was returning home. Nervous that Houyi would catch her, discovering the contents of the case, she accidentally swallowed the entire pill, and started to float into the sky because of the overdose.

Some versions of the legend do not refer to Houyi or Chang’e as having previously been immortals and initially present them as mortals instead.

There are also versions of the story in which Houyi was made king as a reward for killing nine of the suns and saving the people. However, King Houyi became a despot who either stole a pill of immortality from the Queen Mother of the West or learned that he could make such a pill by grinding up the body of a different adolescent boy every night for a hundred nights. Chang’e stole the pill and swallowed it herself, either to stop more boys being killed or to prevent her husband’s tyrannical rule from lasting forever.”

Read the full wiki article here.

Read about the festival at China Highlights here.

Moon Cakes on a Platter

My main contribution to the Festival has been eating Moon Cakes. They are a very rich dessert and must be eaten in small wedges.  One cake (smaller than my palm) can feed about eight people.  The filling is usually made of lotus paste and a duck egg yolk to represent the moon.  I haven’t even had to seek out these cakes, as they are commonly given as business gifts and many of our vendors have sent them to our office.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, Everyone!

Merry Christmas

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 26, 2008 by Yarn Over New York

My Family on Christmas Day

My Family on Christmas Day