Yep. It’s pretty obvious what I’m talking about, right?
Well, if you don’t know, Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year, Spring Festival, however you want to call it) is only two weeks away. And me…being Chinese-y and all had to express it now that I have blog (Gan hei la, so neui! xD).
Yesh, food. I can’t say how much I love food. ( ￣ ω ￣ ) <– Indication I will get fat on all the New Years candy. xD;
But first! Let me explain a little bit about the background of it all. The Chinese basically have a different New Years because they just follow a different calendar – the lunar calendar (y’know, based on the moon phases, duh). So every year, New Years Day is always a different day cuz of that. Last year, I think it was around sometime in mid-February and this year it’s super early on Jan. 26.
Contrary to the American (I’ll avoid saying Western since I might be wrong) New Year, which only lasts like a day, ours last for two weeks. Which is why we are that awesome. =P lol
This year’s going to be the year of the ox so…yay for people born in the ox year! xD It’ll be 4 more years before the turn of my zodiac animal, the snake, and by then, I’ll be like…24. Nuuu~! Ｏ(≧A≦)Ｏ
Ah, that aside, it’s pretty much the biggest Chinese holiday of all. I think the Autumn Festival comes second and I’ll be sure to do a special banner for that, too (hehe, I already know just the right image to use ~.^).
I’ll be doing all the custom stuff that a usual Chinese family would be doing: visiting relatives, going out to eat, getting red envelopes (hehe, yes~! money~! x3), etc.
Oh, but it’s not only the Chinese who celebrate it. Even Koreans, Mongolians, and lots of other countries around China celebrate it as well. Japan doesn’t, though. Not anymore anyways. =P
Yea~, I’ll just refrain from rambling about the nitty gritty details and just direct you here if you’re interested in learning more.
Now, the banner.
…Everyone knows that CLAMP just loves Chinese clothing (who doesn’t?! xD; ) and which series of theirs displays those most? CCS~! <3
It actually took me a while to settle on the right image since there’s quite a few showing both Syaoran and Sakura in Chinese attire. And then I came across the image at the top while browsing the scan galleries in Minitokyo and BAM! "THAT’S THE ONE!" I said.
The reason why is the tree they’re sitting/standing on. It’s a kapok tree and the flower (also called kapok) is the the flower of Guangzhou, the capital city of the Guangdong (or “Canton” to most of the world) Province.
Guangzhou/Canton is also the place where my family originates from (and where all the best food in China is, haha!). Put this and that together, including the fact that the red kapok is my most favorite flower of all, and it would be just wrong if I didn’t use it, right? ^^
But really, Guangzhou isn’t called the Flower City for nothing and the kapok tree is the most beautiful tree in the world, in my humble opinion. Even more so than cherry blossoms but that’s just because I see cherry blossoms practically everywhere now, which is very annoying (almost as annoying as the over usage of roses, ugh). They don’t have that sense of “oriental” feel anymore if you can just find one on whatever street somewhere in New York. =_=;
Back to the kapok, I’m sure many people can recognize if they ever viewed Chinese paintings. It’s that same tree with the red flowers and almost-black branches. Like this one:
Pretty, no? ^^
So yea, that’s mostly the main reason why. To show off my fine Canton lineage with pride! HAHAHA!
Though Xiao Jie can only speak minimal Cantonese and can’t even read or write anything in Chinese, much less say even a full word in Mandarin. *such a lame poser* |D;
Ah~, just looking at it makes me want to go back to Guangzhou. I was suppose to with my dad, who’s currently back there now, enjoying all the wonderful food and fancy preparations (jerk), but since school starts a week early this year, I couldn’t. Sucks! My school is so lame. I think half of the entire student body is composed of Asians anyway (and we are right outside of Chinatown, too) so I don’t understand why we can’t have a day off to celebrate. D:< Whatever, I’ll just skip my last class that day and go steal some free food from some club event before going home. Oohh, the streets are going to be so crowded and littered with confetti that I don’t even want to watch the parade. Messy.
Anyway…I love red, too. Yea yea, it’s the New Year auspicious color for us but I love red to pieces. *wearing red hoodie right now* And to see Sakura wearing red…*happy* <3 I want that outfit. Just to keep. Not to wear.
I’d probably rip it apart if I tried. xD;
Ok, ok, back to being serious now. God, the image took so long to crop and clean. It was against this brown paper-bag looking background and when I tried using the Magic Wand in PSP to make things easier, I would’ve cut off the bottom half of Sakura’s face if I pressed delete (stupid pixels). So I had to manually and slowly mark off all the brown areas using only my unreliable index finger on the touchpad and I guess after a few hours, I’ve managed to make it look decent before having to go back in to tidy up all the frizzy spots.
I don’t think they’re so noticeable now since I had to resize it so that’s a relief. *sigh* But it would look so much nicer at it’s original size. T_T
On the background, I wanted red, of course, but not just red. Red silk. Not like the cheongsam type of silk but the kind of texture you’d see on the wall at the back of Chinese restaurant if you’ve ever been to one. And not the ones who claim to have authentic chinois cuisine. They don’t have those. Ack, I really can’t explain without a picture. So just come to Chinatown and I’ll show you if you’ll treat me to lunch (don’t worry, you can have more than enough for less than $12, trust me, lol).
Hmm, finding the texture I want was pretty hard, too. I wanted some gold designs (particularly dragons or phoenixes) to go with it but there’s not a lot of pictures of that out there, apparently, so I had to make do with this one. :/
Ack, you can’t really see the kapoks now that it’s against almost the shade of red, which is a shame but eh, that’s why I provided the image above.
As for the text, I just downloaded a Chinese-looking font for “ek-sen-trik” and copied-paste-color-edited the Chinese characters for “Happy New Years” (read it from left to right).
Heh, in Mandarin, it’s said this way: “Xin nian yu kuai” which roughly translates to “New year happy”. And in Cantonese, it’s pronounced: “Gung hay fat choy, sun tei gin hong” which means “Happy New Year, may you be prosperous” or something like that (my pinyin sucks as well ,oi).
Yea~, I think that’s all I needed to say. I’ll be leaving this banner up for three weeks and change it a week before Valentine’s day. Oi, that would be full of red, too, huh? :P Well, I’ll try to think of something different. Hopefully, it’ll look better than this one. *needs more practice*
Agh, now that I look back at this, it really is a messy post but I’ve been suffering from a stomach ache all day so please forgive me for the sloppiness. I can’t count how many times I had to go lie down till I felt better and when I came back, I just lost my original train of thought. Hrmgh. Other than that, Happy New Years to all my fellow Tong yun out there and for all of you who aren’t, Happy New Years to you, too, and may you have a prosperous year! *throws some random Chinese candy at you* xD