Year of the Cock

09 Feb 2005

It’s now the year of the cock. (The Chinese like that word.)

Just like last year, ridiculous “safety laws” did nothing to dissuade the Shanghainese from unleashing a hellstorm of fireworkery within my very own apartment complex. The constant dull roar coming from outside led me to believe every residential community in the area was under similar siege from 11pm until 12:30. Here’s a shot snapped from my roommate’s window which shows my balcony taking the brunt of the pyrotechnic excess, a mere 3 meters away.

Note that we live on the 20th floor of a thirty-story building.

I’m leaving for Taiwan shortly. Happy New Year!

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Happy New Years! John, Don and I wish you the best, and have a wonderful trip.

  2. Da Xiangchang Says: February 9, 2005 at 7:14 am

    I could think of quite a few responses to this topic, but none that would last a nanosecond after John sees it. So I’ll keep quiet.

  3. Also known as “The Year of the Widow”, a most unpropitious year for romance and/or marriage. Seems like the day for the spring equinox was omitted from the calendar — and this is the date that brings fertility & other good things that go w/ love &/or marriage.

  4. Tim P.: “¼¦ÄêÎÞ´º£¬²»Ò˽á»é” Not the equinox, but rather Á¢´º (The Beginning of Spring), which occurs halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. Chinese seasons have their midpoints rather than their beginnings at the equinoxes and solstices.

    And Beijing, too, was under assault last night, with sporadic bombing continuing throughout this morning. The only death reported (in graphic detail – ugh!) in this morning’s paper, though, occured in one of the legal areas.

  5. There seems to be some formatting problems. The picture is squeezed into a very thin line on my browser (I’m using IE).

  6. Restraint? Ray??? The Year of the Cock is turning out to be very unique…

  7. wait, if it’s your animal’s year, then it’s supposed to be lucky, right? but if it’s supposed to be “a most unpropitious year for romance and/or marriage,” does that mean it just cancels out to neutral for those whose year it is? i wouldn’t squabble, except that it’s my boyfriend’s year! so i’d kinda like to know. (although why i should be worried about chinese superstition here in the states is beyond me….)
    answers, anyone?

  8. (forgive the English-phoenetic spelling)

    SHEEN-YEN QUAI LUH!!!! ;D

  9. No, if it is your year it is supposed to be unlucky. Unless of course you wear something red. Then you are supposed to have an overwhelming amount of luck.

  10. Happy New Years John, and all your readers,.

    I passed the New Year up in Tangshan. The fireworks were spectacular, but what amazed me more than anything was the complete silence that reigned through the city from about 7pm to midnight. Before and afterwards you could have reasonably thought yourself in a war-zone. For those not in China, this roughly matches the broadcasting period of the annual CCTV New Years variety show.

    In the spirit of ÈëÏçËæË×, I watched most of the show. The 10,000 hands Bhuddavista was stunning. As always, I am bewildered by this country.

  11. Hi John,
    hope this year is a good one for you!
    I never could get used to the word “cock” being used by my students – being an Aussie! : )
    I kept suggesting “rooster” might be better!!

  12. All my straight friends (native or non-native English speakers) had a huge kick on greeting me with “Happy New Year of Cock”. Yuck…

  13. Da Xiangchang Says: February 15, 2005 at 2:21 pm

    The happiest guy in the world must be a Chinese-American homo named Dick Wang ushering in the Year of the Cock with his boyfriend named Willy Strong while at a gay bar in Bangkok.

  14. Great site…just came across it. My greatgrandfather was from China and I hope one day to be able to explore his/my roots. I am living in Scotland myself.Interesting to see/read your perspective…Good Luck and take care….

    LC xx

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