Happy new year of the fiery monkey to everybody

IMG_1271The preparations began a week before new year with the cleaning of rooms, altars and outside areas and with all sorts of other works, from reparation to the cutting of fire wood.

In that period it was the time for the “small new year”, a festivity which takes place on the 23rd of the last month of the year. In this date the Kitchen Spirit ascends to report to the Jade Emperor about the situation in each home and in every family there is the tradition to make some special offerings and to cook some sweet cakes which will glue the mouth of the spirit to prevent him to report to the heavens the family’s bad actions, some others say that the cakes are to make his mouth sweet so that he will speak well about the family, after this the Jade Emperor distributes rewards and the kitchen spirit comes back at new year’s eve when some more offerings are made to him. In that night it is a tradition to have a big dinner with the whole family eating dumplings and so did we, and many old friends joined us for this event.

IMG_1297From the next day numerous worshipers and tourist started to climb up the mountains to pay their respect to the immortals. This days are one of the two most busy times of the year and a lot of work is required to take care of the temple halls when there are so many visitors.

The period of festivity ended with the lantern festival on the 15th of the first month which is the first full moon of the year, shifu said that in this day there is a stronger connection between men and the heavens.

Now that the festival is over we can have some more quiet time to practice and to prepare for the Kung Fu course which will begin in a month from now.