Our Lovely World

Reflections, Blessings & Gratitude


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Squid Lips, Candy Cows & Margaret River

Entrance to Lake Cave Western AustraliaMy partner and I spent a lovely 3 nights away recently in Margaret River, at the beautiful Riverside Tourist Park in Willmott Avenue, a stone’s throw away from the Town centre! We left the suburbs of Perth around 11.00 am on Thursday 23rd April and arrived at our new temporary residence 3 hours later.

Margaret_River_Town_MapOur domicile was a small 2 person chalet, number 15, quite close to the Office. The park consists of a great number of different accommodation arrangements, to accommodate singles, couples and families, and includes lovely awesome cottages alongside the Margaret River.

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Late Afternoon Mosaic at Fremantle, Western Australia

Fremantle Sunset taken 6.16pm, 7/02/2014 Fremantle Sunset taken 6.16pm, 7/03/2014   

“Tall Ship” at Fremantle taken 6.20pm, 7/02/2014	“Tall Ship” at Fremantle taken 6.20pm, 7/03/2014       

This shot is of a “tall ship” or Leeuwin II Sailboat / Yacht sailing out into the Sunset.  You can  book a three hour tour   on one of these marvelous ships, run by The Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation, from November until late April.

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Gong Xi Fa Chai – Happy Chinese New Year

Gong-Xi-Fa-Cai-Imlek-2013

2016 is the Year of the Red Monkey

Read more  HERE

If you literally translate “Gong Xi Fa Chai”, it means “wishing you enlarge your wealth.” “Gong Xi” means wishing/blessing . “Fa” means to enlarge, and”Chai” ( or Choi ) means wealth.   So a literal translation is that you wish that the person you are bestowing Gong Xi Fa Chai upon, will become very rich

However the phrase is generally used as Happy New Year.

Ang Pow red envelopes are traditionally given by adults to children at Chinese New Year, which is also a time for happy family re-unions and much feasting and merriment.

Ang Pow also known as “red packets”,” “laisee”, “lai see”, “hung bao” or “hong-bao” are considered extremely auspicious to receive as a gift and even more auspicious if they contain money.

Ang_powImage from Wikimedia

They are commonly used for Chinese New Year, weddings, birthdays or any other important event.  The illustrations used on the front of ang pow packets or envelopes bestow blessings and good wishes of longevity, prosperity and great health.  The character for “luck” – in pinyin Chinese pronounced as the word “fu” – is often on the front of the red packets.

The story of ang pow dates back to the Sung Dynasty in China. A village called Chang-Chieu was at the time terrorised by a huge dragon-like demon. No one dared to defeat it, not even warriors or statesmen.

However, a young orphan, armed with a super sabre inherited from his ancestors, fought the evil dragon and eventually destroyed it. The villagers were overjoyed and the elders presented the brave young lad an ang pow filled with money for his courage in saving them.

Since then, the ang pow has become a part of traditional Chinese customs.

Some say that the money contained in an Ang Pow should traditionally be a single note, not multiple notes and never contain coins.    Amounts given in the ang pow may take advantage of the Chinese homophones ( words that are pronounced the same as another words but differs in meaning ). For instance, you can give a favourable amount ending with eight ( ba ), as it sounds like fortune in Chinese, or nine ( jiu ), which sounds like longevity.

This page  HERE  will show you the Chinese pinyin and characters for numbers, and this page  HERE  is excellent for giving you the pronounciations for one syllable Chinese words.

The Chinese New Year begins each year on the second new moon after the winter solstice ( which is on 22 December in the Northern Hemisphere).  The Chinese use a lunar calendar as opposed to our own Gregorian calendar.  The Chinese New Year is also called the Lunar New Year.  The exact new moon time on 31 January 2014 in China’s time zone is at 05:39 a.m.

Celebrated internationally in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered to be a major holiday for the Chinese as well as ethnic groups such as the Mongolians, Koreans, the Miao (Chinese Hmong) and the Vietnamese, who were influenced by Chinese culture in terms of religious and philosophical worldview, language and culture in general.

Festivities to celebrate the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival as it is also known last  fifteen days. The first week is the most important and is most often celebrated with visits to friends and family as well as with greetings of good luck. The celebrations end on the important and colorful Lantern Festival on the evening of the 15th day of the lunar month.

The 15 day Chinese New Year season is celebrated with public holidays in China from January 31 to February 6 in 2014, and with merriment and a lot of good eating.

You can see wonderful examples of the fine eating that Chinese people engage in during the    Chinese New Year Festivities on Pinterest.

To read about the Chinese Zodiac Animals and the Year of the Wood Horse in 2014,  please go to my other Blog,    Fascinating Animals.   My post there dated 31 January 2014 has a giveaway in which you can win a beautiful sheetlet of Chinese Zodiac Animal stamps!

chinese fu symbol for blessings and good luckChinese character for “Fu” meaning Good luck

I find Chinese characters beautiful and there is certain way in which one should write them.

This great page  HERE  will show YOU how to write the above Chinese character for “Good Luck”.

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References

http://gohongkong.about.com/od/chinesenewyear/a/laisee.htm

http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/festivals/spring-festival/chinese-zodiac-years-of-2011-to-2020.htm

http://www.ibiblio.org/chinesehistory/contents/08fea/c06s03.htm

http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/Festivals/78322.htm

http://redlotusletter.com/9-ways-to-stimulate-wealth-using-chinese-coins/

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture/year-of-the-horse

http://www.chards.co.uk/news/royal-mint-launches-2014-lunar-year-horse/#sthash.hWVCtv5F.dpuf

http://www.alleghenycandles.com/feng-shui-coin.html

 


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Cavalia – Beautiful & Breathtaking

cavalia poster

cavalia water scene

The Media reported that the Equestrian Artistic Show CAVALIA is beautiful and breathtaking, and I found it to be just that.

Perth, Western Australia is fortunate to be graced with several Cavalia performances in 2013, and my sister and I attended the matinee show on Sunday 15 December.   Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide have been added to Cavalia’s first ever Australian tour in 2013.

The lavish production, which has been seen by over four million people in Northern America and Europe, explores the relationship between humans and horses through the ages and features 48 horses and 36 riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians from all over the world.

A constantly changing digital background projected onto a 60 metre-wide screen is designed to draw audiences into a dream-like world and a 50 metre-wide stage gives the horses enough space to gallop at full speed.

Cavalia is held in the largest touring tent in the world – a white, 2,440-square-metre big top, which rises about 35 metres high.

I can sum up my experience of Cavalia in a word  –  “unforgettable”.

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Harmony Day – Australia

harmony-day-cakes

21 March is “Harmony Day” in Australia

The message of Harmony Day is Everyone Belongs.  It is a day to celebrate Australia’s diversity. It is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of this land to those who have come from many countries around the world. There are many ways we can celebrate Harmony Day – through sport, dance, art, film, music, storytelling, cooking and sharing cultural meals. By participating in Harmony Day activities we can learn and understand how all Australians from diverse backgrounds equally belong to this nation and make it a better place.

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Labyrinth Fountain – Perth, Western Australia

Click on the icon at the bottom right of the video, to see it in full screen.

This $1.3 million water sculpture is the work of Danish artist Jeppe Hein. This interactive, family-friendly attraction features jets of water that shoot into the air to create nine “rooms”. The fountain uses recycled storm water which goes through sand filters and is chlorinated to swimming pool standards – so it’s safe to drink if any gets accidently swallowed! The water feature is in operation daily until 10pm each evening and is lit up at night time.

I am really impressed with this beautiful fountain and think it is fantastic to have water jets in the capital city, for good “feng shui”.  I did try to video it myself during the daylight hours but as my attempt was rather woeful, thought I would leave it at this great night time shot.

See photos and more information at this blog   here.


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Are you going to Scarborough Beach?

The Beach

The beach is a vertical cross-section

of jewels and mother-earth

The sea is sapphire-blue

The “top-soil” is burnished gold

by the setting sun

Beneath it runs a seam of milky opal

The opal lies on precious

silver grains of sand

and a film of mother-of-pearl shimmers

at my bare feet

Written by Celine

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Sunset at Scarborough Beach

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