In the midst of this lunar new year celebration, I thought some photos of a parade in Shanghai, China might be in order. I was on hand to watch the groups of young men assemble the dragons. It was in the Year of the Horse. Of this parade, I wrote:
“A lot of China went un- interpreted for me, so it was no wonder I focused on the dragons. In Shanghai, I watched a parade on Nanjing Donglu. (Donglu means street.) What caught my attention is the 20 men, who were dressed in red silk outfits with gold hats, piecing together two 60-foot dragons in preparation for the parade. First, they took out lengths of hoops attached like accordion bellows and they tied those hoop segments together to form a long line. Then, they unfolded a long sheet with a design of beautiful red scales along a gold ridge. They fastened the sheet to the lined-up hoops so by its looks, even I could figure, it must be going to be a dragon. The parade featured a group of uniformed women pushing semi-full shopping carts and a group of uniformed men holding poles bearing posters of various larger-than-life consumer goods. It was either a pro-capitalism parade or a parody on consumerism replacing patriotism. My favorite part was the two red dragons. Dragon in Chongwen (Chinese) is ‘long,’ the word for snake.”
From looking at the Chinese Zodiac on restaurant placemats, I had spent most of my life thinking I was a Tiger. Then while browsing a book, I found the Year of the Tiger started days after my birthday and I am, in fact, an Ox! I liked thinking of myself as a tiger, but now I know the truth. This man thought he was a Dog and then learned he was a Rooster. So I’m not the only one. To all born in the Year of the Dog, claim your year!
Buy it. Read it. Let me know what you think. –TMLL