Celebrated Chinese New Year with my friend and doctor, Lan Kao.
We went downtown to Chinatown to a Buddhist Temple set up for a major fire works. And OMG, they blasted off not once, but three times while we we there. Rolls of firecrackers were hung on poles and lit. Lan told me it is Chinese custom to bring in the New Year with a bang! And, it chases away evil spirits, too.
She led me into the Temple where three Buddhas were enshrined. One for protection, one for compassion, one for justice. Thousands of offerings such as oranges and dollar bills were arranged beneath the Buddhas. Everyone in attendance carried multiple incense sticks to offer to the Buddhas.
The grand finale was the Lion or Dragon Dance. Four young men from a Kung fu school wore these elaborate costumes and tantalized the worshippers by opening their mouths to receive offerings of money.
At last the ceremony ended and the entire congregation was fed a Buddhist diet of green vegetables and white rice. For luck there were the auspicious Chinese noodles.
Lan has been my acupuncturist for nine years. We met in Hawaii and now we’re both living in the City of Angels. I absolutely adore experiencing different cultures, especially with friends.
Note: Cloudiness in pictures is due to the enormous amount of smoke from burning incense in the Temple.