February 15th was Yuanxiao Jie, Lantern Festival, which celebrates the first full moon of the lunar calendar. I joined friends to take in the lights and lanterns in
Yu Yuan is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Shanghai, made evident by all the souvenir shops and endless number of tour groups. I've visited a few times but, the Lantern Festival was the most crowded I’ve ever seen it. Local Shanghainese far outweighed the number of foreigners out to celebrate the festival. Most Shanghainese eat yet another traditional dumpling, known in
There’s a famous zig-zag bridge that leads up to the actual garden. It is tradition for people to walk the bridge with its nine turns
We also came across a parade with people dressed in traditional outfits and pulling a large Ox, the Chinese zodiac symbol for this year. Everyone reached out to touch it for good luck. The “money god”, Cai Shen Ye , was also parading around with a plastic mold of gold coins. He walked up to me and, mesmerized by his long hair, beard and face mask, I wasn't quite sure what the customary greeting for a money god was. He helped me out by grabbing my hand and guiding it to touch the lucky pot of money he held. Now, I just have to wait for the influx of cash that should be coming my way.