Kung Hei Fat Choy 2009 (Happy Chinese New Year) from the cast of ZAIA. 2009 is the Year of the Ox. Macau will be a crazy one week party starting the week of January 26 2009 for the week long Chinese New Year celebrations.
Around 1996 I was in Tokyo for New Years Eve celebrations with monks ringing gigantic bells with wooden rams. But this is my first CHINESE New Years in China. Techs of Cirque’s ZAIA show were here for the 2008 Fat Choy, but this is the first one for artists of Zaia. We’ve been told “Macau will shut down” during the holiday week.
We’ve all been given red envelopes with the ZAIA embossed logo to fill with money and give to locals for good luck; another traditiion of Chinese New Years. Our work week includes 11 shows for the celebrations, along with many special mini performances around the Venetian in Macau. Anyone know where I can buy some fireworks?
I’m at a local village gathering for National Children’s Day in Thailand when a bus of monks pulls up (complete with the yellow robes like in the movies). I’m brought over to where they all sit down as a little crowd of about 30 of us kneel in front of them.
Chanting and praying starts – I fold my hands when it looks like I’m supposed to and bow when I’m supposed to. I think I was very professional overall. But I was a little nervous as to what we were actually praying for because I didn’t understand the chant.
Then the monk passes in front of us and drenches us in water; from what looked like long incense sticks dipped in water. During this time I was thinking of the Beatles when they went out meditating, and wondered if I should have dressed a little more hippy instead of my Polo shirt.
Before the monk bus left one of them came up to me and said “God Bless You”. And God did, because after that we had all the ice cream we could eat and all the Heineken we could drink – ALL DAY. I understand Buddhism now, and I also understand why they spend so many hours meditating and praying. If the ice cream and beer is good – it’s worth the time invested.
Is it true that Martin Luther of the Reformation said “Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong.” Yes, it is. But the second half of that sentence was “but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.”
Here is that passage in it’s original context; a letter from Luther to Melanchthon on August 1, 1521. If you like you can scroll directly to number paragraph thirteen for the complete passage.
This is also the letter where Martin Luther expresses his favor for allowing monks to marry.