In the northern Taiwan city of Taipei, celebrations are in progress heralding the arrival of the lunar New Year, February 3rd.
GV Dance of the dragon with crowds watching (5 shots)
SV Spring couplets on silk banners hung on wall
SV Man writing Chinese script on banners (2 shots)
GV Busy street scene in Taipei
SV INTERIOR People buying material (2 shots)
GV Buddhist temple with worshippers lighting joss sticks & placing food offerings to the gods (5 shots)
Initials ESP/1722 ESP/1739
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Background: In the northern Taiwan city of Taipei, celebrations are in progress heralding the arrival of the lunar New Year, February 3rd. Chinese lunar years are named for twelve actual, or mythical, animals. The year of the rat is ending, and the year of the ox is about to begin.
The dragon lands its name to the final year of the twelve lunar year cycle and is regarded as a deity who protects men from evil and disaster.
Artists, skilled in Chinese brush lettering... or calligraphy ...do a brisk business selling couplets made from brilliant red paper. For the Chinese, the red symbolises virtue, truth and sincerity.
SYNOPSIS: The dragon, a feared symbol in Western countries, is regarded in Taiwan, and in most other oriental countries, as a protector of man. today is the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year, and in the northern Taiwan city of Taipei people are celebrating the ending of the Year of the Rag, and the beginning of the Year of the Ox.
Spring couplets, heralding the joys of spring, are made and sold by Chinese skilled in the art of calligraphy. The red couplets symbolise virtue, truth and sincerity.
Although the spring season is still weeks away, the people of Taiwan hang the spring couplets in he streets, in the shops and even on their doors. And of course there's always the last-minute shoppers.
But on the eve of the lunar New Year, business comes to a stand-still. This is the time for family gatherings.... and the time to pay homage to ancestors at Buddhist temples. Joss sicks are lit and oranges and apples are presented as gifts... In Chinese, the word for apple is the same as the word for peace.