Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

Happy Year of the Tiger! This New Year is extra special for me, because I was born in the Year of the Tiger – though according to the Chinese sexagenary cycle, I’m a Fire Tiger, and this year is the year of the Water Tiger. Also, apparently, my birth year corresponds to the element of “wood” (out of the five elements – metal, wood, water, fire, and earth), so I’m not just a Fire Tiger, I’m a Fire Tiger of the Forest (Chinese horoscope is very confusing) – hence the William Blake quote in the title.

And that’s also why, for this New Year outfit, I gave a nod to my birth sign with this tiger-embroidered top and the green color scheme (for the “forest” bit, get it?) We’re having a very simple celebration this year due to the pandemic, so I’m keeping my outfits casual.


Year Of The Rat

Technically, it’s not the Year of the Rat until tomorrow, but for us, the celebration has started since last week, after the Kitchen God’s farewell ceremony on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month (in Vietnamese mythology, each household has a kitchen god, and a week before the New Year, he will return to Heaven to report on the family’s activities to the Jade Emperor, who will reward or punish the family accordingly, so every family has to offer the Kitchen God a great feast in the hope that he’ll put in a good word for them.) I’m helping my family to prepare for New Year’s Eve, so here are some photos of a New Year flower market for you guys to enjoy. Regular posting will resume next week; see you then!


Year Of The Pig

It’s the Lunar New Year holiday here in Vietnam, and in the spirit of the Year of the Pig, I’m taking the rest of the week off to stuff my face and lounge around doing nothing. See you guys next Monday!


Year Of The Dog

Happy Lunar New Year! It’s the Year of the Dog, so here is a picture of my dog looking all prim and proper and not her usual goofy self:

And some shots of the celebration and decorations:

My grandma’s house, decorated with the traditional kumquat tree

Traditional altar at my grandma’s house – the sugar canes are supposed to be walking sticks for the spirits of our ancestors

Chưng cakes ready to be boiled

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have food to eat and packing to do. There will be SIA posts up next week, so stay tuned!


Year Of The Rooster

It’s not the Year of the Rooster until tomorrow, but I know I would be too busy celebrating (i.e. stuffing my face), so here are some photos from yesterday’s Lunar New Year market that I went with my sister. This year, my dad was so busy that all of our preparations were done beforehand, so there wasn’t that exciting rush in the few days leading up to the New Year. To make up for it, my sister and I decided to go to the Old Quarter to check out the traditional market there – not because we needed to buy anything, but because we simply wanted to bask in that atmosphere. It was quite fun, but insanely crowded. I probably wouldn’t brave it if my sister hadn’t insisted.

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of greyAn often-encountered sight around the Lunar New Year: huge pots of chưng cakes boiling away

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey
Antique stalls

lunar new year market by 14 shades of greyPiggy banks (kids are often given piggy banks at the start of a new year, for their lucky money)

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of greyThese are not a Lunar New Year thing, but they’re too delicious not to be included – donut holes

So anyway, Happy the Year of the Rooster! I’ll be back next week with (hopefully) a couple of outfit posts!

year of the roosterOriginal art by my niece