Happy New Year!

A white rabbit - the best gift for the New Year of the Rabbit!

Chinese New Year - just like Christmas, but with a rabbit instead of Jesus.Maybe it's better this way...

Around the Chinese New Year, Yangzhou's street vendors roll out the traditional Yangzhou New Year selection: strawberries, radishes (green outside, red inside), and water chestnuts. Apparently, there is a large district of strawberry hothouse just east of the city.

Days of frenetic shopping activity before the holidays, although I guess what's mostly bought are various ornaments to "deck the halls" and delicacies for the New Year table, rather than gifts.

As the families sit down for the festive meal in the early evening on the New Year eve, the sound of firecrackers outside makes you feel that the city is under artillery bombardment by enemy forces. By the midnight, everyone blows up their firecrackers and fireworks all at once, waking up an occasional sleeping foreigner, and all car alarms in town go off.

At 9:30 am the next morning, I find the hotel door locked. Fortunately, the back door is open.

Xin nian hao!

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