Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Kung hei fat choi! (that means wish you prosperity esp. in terms of monetary wealth) Wishing everyone the best in the Year of the Rabbit. Today’s already the fourth day of the Year of the Rabbit, but the celebrations go on for fifteen days so I guess I’m not too late. Anyhow, here’s my Chinese New Year gift to you all:

 

888ml Cream Soda!

 

Resolution’s not that good, but no matter. Yes, it’s a fat bottle – 888ml of Cream Soda, sold at HK$8.80 (that’s a little more than 1 USD.) What’s up with the 8s you say? According to Chinese culture, 8 is an extremely lucky number. Here’s some explaining from ol’ Wikipedia:

The word for “eight” (八 Pinyin: bā) sounds similar to the word which means “prosper” or “wealth” ( – short for “發財”, Pinyin: fā). In regional dialects the words for “eight” and “fortune” are also similar, e.g. Cantonese “baat3” and “faat3“.

There is also a visual resemblance between two digits, “88”, and 囍, the “shuāng xĭ” (‘double joy’), a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters 喜 (“xĭ” meaning ‘joy’ or ‘happiness’).

That’s why I say Schweppes was very smart in selling an 888ml bottle of Cream Soda. For Coca-Cola lovers, I also saw an 888ml bottle of that at the store. 🙂

Still unconvinced of Chinese superstitions? A telephone number with all digits as ‘8’s sold for US$270,723 in Chengdu, and the Beijing Olympics started its opening ceremony on 8/8/08 at 8:08:08 PM. Amazing.

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Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, everyone! :)

And here it is, one of my favourite Chinese festivals: a time when we can all sit back and eat a mooncake or two, or comment on how round the moon is. If we can see it, that is. Which I can’t.

Perhaps it’s because I’m getting old, but when it comes to yearly festivals, I like to think back and dwell on how it’s changed: what became better as the years passed, and what good things went sour.

This year, the first issue that came up was obviously the moon. But to a don’t-care kid like me, so what if the moon can’t be seen? Yes, I know that’s what the Mid-Autumn festival is for, but isn’t the moon just symbolic for unity? And if we have unity, why would we complain about not being able to appreciate something that only symbolizes unity?

Modern Japanese mooncakes! Image from sparklette.net.

Ironically, the atmospheric change I did notice related to mooncakes. Usually, my relatives would always laugh over the mountains of mooncakes the companies they worked at received, and wonder if the companies even wanted them. But this year, they talked of few or no mooncakes: financial issues were hitting hard, they said, and the heaps of free mooncakes had to wait till next year.

Never mind. I can always do with losing some weight. 😛