Happy Lunar New Year readers! The 2014 Nantou Sand Sculpture Art Festival [南投市貓羅溪畔沙雕藝術節] started a few days ago and runs through March 9th. I haven’t had an opportunity to take the family there this year so the best I could do for a header picture is one I took five years ago. From the handful of photographs I’ve seen floating on the net there’s a fine assortment of sculptures so this could be a good trip for anyone seeking to get out of the house during the holiday. Here’s the official website which is highly useful if you can read Chinese. Admission is $50NT except for us awesome residents of Nantou City and Zhongliao Township who can get in for free. Motorists can take the No. 3 Freeway to the Nantou City exit. Follow Nangang Industrial #2 Road [南崗工業區南崗二路] toward the Nangang Industrial Area and turn left of Zhonghua Road [中華路]. Turn right on the Nangang Daqiaotou Flood Dike Road [南崗大橋頭右轉堤防防汛道路] and continue till you reach the venue.
A much larger event is the upcoming Taiwan Lantern Festival [台灣燈會] right here in Jhongsing Village. Organizers were kind enough to include English on their website but several sections were incomplete as of writing this. The event runs from February 13th through 23rd. Visitors have several options on transportation: Motorists can get off Freeway No. 3 at Caotun or Mingjian and follow the instructions of the several hundred officers who will be on hand to direct traffic to one of the many parking areas, High Speed Railers can zip to Taichung HSR Station and ride a shuttle bus waiting for you at exit #6, Railfans can take the regular train to Yuanlin or Wuri Station and take shuttle buses from those stations, while Shoppers can take the shuttle buses running from Taichung’s Tiger City Department Store to the Lantern Festival.
A very important milestone for a baby in Taiwan is his or her fourth month celebration. Parents celebrate by hosting an Anti-Drooling Ceremony [收涎 (shōuxián)]. To perform an Anti-Drooling Ceremony one must prepare cookies (in multiples of 6 for good luck) and red string. The cookies are made into a necklace to be worn by the baby. These cookies are used by family and friends to wipe the lips of the baby as they say auspicious phrases.
We did this ceremony with Josie when she turned four months old. We may have goofed up part of the ceremony because her drooling increased in the weeks following the ceremony rather than decrease. We didn’t want to make the same mistakes with Nathan so we opted for better cookies this time. We ordered our cookies from Jinny’s Creations [吉尼餅乾] – a company that specializes in Anti-Drooling Ceremony cookies.
Our household has been very exciting this year – We went from raising a toddler to raising a toddler and a newborn baby. Although blogging has been light as a result, there have been a few high quality posts that I would like to share with you in case you missed them the first time around:
At some point during the year I started making info cards for the butterflies I’ve been photographing. I’ve only completed a handful and have many more to go.
For a few weeks I was hip and shot with a Lomo Supersampler. After six rolls of film the camera broke and my hipness rapidly dissipated.
During a rare period of blogging clarity I produced The Jump Project [One through Thirty].
The High Road and the Low Road
I ran into a couple of celebrities and photographed a lot of trees at Nantou’s Sitou Forest Recreation Park.
Another year of going to the Jhongsing Village Lotus Ponds. This year’s pictures were by far my favorite.
Cathy and I welcomed our son Nathaniel into the world on September 10. We have plenty of collages like this on Our Children’s Page.
The post: Transformers 4 – Scene 24 Leaked Storyboards was a collaborative project with a coworker and reeks of awesomeness. We’ve recently acquired an Optimus Prime figure and will be putting together an Optimus Prime and Megatron battle sometime after the Lunar New Year.
Hope you enjoyed this year’s posts! See you next year!
Completely Unrelated Photo
Predictably, blogging was light and sporadic in 2011. However, there were a few gems here and there. These are my favorite posts of 2011:
- Like trains and factories? Then you’ll probably enjoy Chiayi’s Suantou Sugar Refinery just as much as I did.
- Snapped a few shots on the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway.
- Most of my cycling these days is limited to a small rotation of workout routes I tackle every Sunday. Every now-and-then I venture out with a camera – The 147 and 131 was one of those routes.
- The Anti-Drooling Ceremony and Zhua Zhou Activity were two traditional rites of passage our daughter went through.
- Made a brief stop at the Jhongsing Village Lotus Ponds.
- The National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung is fun for children of all ages!
- Took a trip up to Taipei to attend the International Flora Expo during its final week.
- Participated in Taiwan’s very first Google+ Photowalk on Double Ten.
- Saw monsters in the mountains.
- Strolled through a recently revitalized military dependents’ village.
Have a Happy New Year!
I finally registered Comic Life 2.
In Taiwan, a special ceremony takes place when a baby reaches four months old. Cookies are strung around the neck of the baby. Family members and friends break off the cookies and rub them on the lips of the baby. This ceremony is to prevent drooling in the future. We took part in this ceremony in April and I have to admit, we must have done something wrong because our baby still drools.