Keep up-to-date with my news over the Chinese New Year in my series of blogs! Here is week 1Escape to Dundee Day One
My first Chinese New Year in Scotland and at RGU. How to celebrate it? My favourite activity: TRAVEL!
The first day of Chinese New Year we got up early at 6am. We had veggies for breakfast which is our family tradition. Then we caught the M9 bus to Dundee. The bus goes all the way down to Dundee via A90. The scenery is so beautiful, I was surprised to see snow covered mountains and wind turbines on the way down to Dundee. When we arrived it was only 9:40am.
We dropped off our luggage at the hotel, and went to the HMS Unicorn straight away.
After that, we visited :
- City Quay
- Caird Hall
- McManus Galleries
- Archies Tyres
- St Paul Church
- St Andrew Church
At dinner time, we decided to go to a place near McManus Galleries. It was a fast food shop called German Doner Kebab, which had recently opened in Dundee and I wanted to try it as I had a coupon.
All of a sudden there were crowds of people, bodyguards, cameras and journalists all circling one table. Apparently they were all there for a group of ITV Love Island stars who were at the restaurant.
We must be lucky! We will bring the luck to all of our family and friends for the year of Dog!
Day two – The top of Dundee!
We go to see out relatives for celebration here in Dundee. What are we going to do today?
Let’s explore the castle!
We went to the Main Street to take the bus to Broughty Castle. We arrived earlier than the open time, so we went down to Broughty Beach. The Castle is not as big as expected, there are canons on the top of the castle, you can see there are narrow windows for guarding and arrow use. The Broughty Castle Museum has 3-stories, where you can see old Scottish life in Dundee. After that we had a walk on the streets close to the Castle. Checking the bakery, seafood shop, barber shop etc.
We then went to the Dundee Law war monument. When you reach the Monument for World War II, you will know you are on the top of Dundee. This 360-degree view of Dundee is worth spending the time to climb up the hill! We saw a rainbow once we reached the top! What a nice sign on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year.
We then stopped off at the McMagnus Galleries, the paintings were great! We like the old paintings here which portray Scottish history.
Afterwards, we went to the Chinese Supermarket to buy Chinese food e.g. Chinese noodle, Chinese rice noodle, Salted Eggs, Thousand Years Eggs, Traditional Chinese Sausage, Salted Fish and many things for making traditional Canton Soup.
With this Chinese food, we won’t miss home that much because food is always good therapy!
Day three – Discovery
Traditional, we do not visit relatives and friends on this day. The third day of CNY is the Red Dog day and is the God of Anger which is why we avoid relatives so we don’t argue.
I read an article about a town in Germany, Dietfurt that I would like to visit next Chinese New Year as they have a bigger celebration than I am aware of in Hong Kong. They have Dragon Dancing, Lion Dancer, and all the villagers dress in Qing Dynasty dressing. They even make dumplings with their own German Sausage.
Back to my journey in Dundee – We decided to visit the RSS Discovery. The admission fee is £9.25 per head, but with this admission they offer you a free annual pass till Feb 2019. After our tour, I could tell why this museum is so popular. Discovery is a historical ship in which Captain Scott took 47 people together to explore Antarctica. It was a tour for science investigation from Great Britain to South Pole a hundred years ago.
After lunch we travelled home.
Our 3 Days celebration for Chinese New Year in Dundee came to an end. We really enjoyed a quiet Chinese New Year celebrating here.
Day seven – Renri
Today is Feb 22, 2018. It’s a special day because it is the birthday of three of my high schoolmates. What a coincidence this year it falls on the seventh day of CNY. To western 7 is called lucky seven. To Chinese, the seventh day is called Renri- Renri was the day human beings were created. It means it is the birthday of everybody! It is also a coincidence that it is my grandmother’s Death day.
When I got up this morning, I messaged my little brother and older sister reminding them it’s grandmother’s Death Day and it’s the seventh day of CNY. What they need to do is to make a whole chicken, sweet dumpling soup and buy roasted pork to do the worship ceremony. Even though I have never met my grandmother because she passed away when I was still a baby, we follow the same ceremony my parents did every year. When I was a kid, I always stood next to my mom to do the worship ceremony and she always gave me the gold and silver paper to burn for the ancestors and the gods. This year as I am in Scotland I could only pray in my heart and let my HK family do the ceremony.
In Chinese mythology, the goddess who created the world created animals on different days, and human beings on the seventh day after the creation of the world. She created animals in the following order:
First day- Chicken
Second day: Dogs
Third day: Boars
Fourth day: Sheep
Fifth day: Cows
Sixth day: Horses
Seventh day: Humans
Hence, Chinese tradition has set the first day of CNY (Chinese New Year) as the birthday of the chicken, the second day of CNY as the birthday of the dog, etc. And the seventh day of CNY is the common “birthday” of all human beings. If the seventh day of CNY has good weather, it implies people would have a year of peaceful and prosperity.
As it is the seventh day, traditionally we celebrate with seven different dishes: –
1. Fish- to increase prosperity
2. Dumpling- for wealth
3. Spring roll- for wealth
4. Sweet rice ball- family togetherness
5. Fortune fruit- fullness and wealth
6. Glutinous Rice Cake- higher income & higher position
7. Longevity noodle- long life
My family will add chicken and roasted pork. Altogether we have nine dishes representing long life.
Today’s weather is bit cold but still have sunshine, so I am happy we all should have a peaceful and prosperous year in 2018.
What did I do today in Aberdeen?
I had a good presentation in class with my groupmates; then I went to Kaim Cottage. I have joined RGU Go Green as a volunteer at Kaim Cottage every Thursday this semester. I am happy to see Layla and Areej every Thursday there. I think it is good to do volunteer work as we could help others. RGU Go Green have the same values as I do. I always try not to waste things. The day I graduate. If I cannot take all my stuff home I will donate it to RGU Go Green for other students’ to use. Find out more about RGU Go Green on their Facebook page.
What a meaningful day for me to celebrate the birthday of humans with voluntary work!
When I get home tonight, I will call my three schoolmates to say happy birthday to them and have a piece of chocolate instead of a piece of cake to celebrate the birthday day.
Read my other posts about Chinese New Year.