The Chinese New Year festivities continue until next week, on the 15th day of the lunar new year. Which is convenient because now I’m not technically late in posting this fabulous Chinese New Year card.
I sent this card to my paternal grandmother 15 years ago from Wuhan in Hubei province. The design on the card represents a traditional Hubei bell dating back to the Warring States period (475 BC until 221 BC).
The Chinese on the card reads ji xiang ru yi, which means something like wishing you lots of luck.
In Hong Kong the traditional New Year’s greeting is gung hei fat choy, or congratulations and make lots of money.
Of course Mao would have none of that. Even 20 years after his death, many people in China looked down on their money-hungry brethren, although capitalism there was certainly alive and kicking in 1996.
But it wasn’t so vibrant that you could find greeting and New Year’s cards on every street corner. People back then weren’t in the habit of sending any cards, nor were cards like this one easy to find.
I took all that for granted in Hong Kong, where I could enter any stationery store and rummage through a hundred elaborate New Year’s cards, some with unintelligible English. Fun stuff.