Sunday, 18 February 2007

pig hog boar

We strolled into the China town area of Manchester, just as it was preparing for the main Golden Dragon Parade to welcome in Kung hei fat choy - the Year of the Pig (sometimes called the year of the Boar). When I looked at the Chinese zodiac sign, it describes the western equivalent that is nearest as the scorpion (Scorpio), which is actually my sign, although that's a November date.

The Chinese district is dominated by the Imperial Chinese Archway, which was a gift to the City from the Chinese people. There's also one in China Town London, but this one is extremely decorative and quite a surprise to find at a small cross roads in China Town. The arch was designed and built by a team of engineers from Beijing and is decorated with ceramics, lacquer, paint and gold leaf. Beside the arch are two pavilions in an ornamental garden, although these were blocked off today as part of the controls for the parade and festivities.
The red lanterns, flags and streamers and the loud firecrackers were all there to ward off evil spirits and to make sure that the Dragon knows its place instead of going around eating people.

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