You may recall that I've been working on opening a buxiban here in town. It's done. This morning was deemed an auspicious time for the kai gong (open work) ritual for the New Year. My father-in-law did his thing and came up with 5-7 a.m. as being the luckiest time to set of a magazine of firecrackers bigger than my ass to announce to the good gods that we're here to do business or to scare off nasty demons. Fortunately, I had to stay home with the kids in case they didn't remain sleeping, but they did, and I didn't have to leave my warm bed.
For this morning's bai-bai (prayer) Maggie burned God money in an incinerator that's about the size of those tins that the popcorn comes in at Xmas time. She set up a table in front of the school on which she put a big basket of fruit (the basket, a product of Seminole basketweavers, came from my sister-in-law Shari in Florida several years ago). My mother-in-law called to tell us what kind of fruit we needed to include for what reason.
Pineapple in Taiwanese is Onglai which means "very busy" so that our business will be very good. Apples were in the basket for a good reason which is escaping us at the moment. Tangerines bring big luck and big fortune. Plums bai zao nian nian hao every year will be good.
Pears have gone the same way as the apples. I'll try to retrieve them when the mother-in-law phones again.
Our relatives bought us huge baskets of flowers and plastic pineapples to hang from the awning as a way of celebrating the opening of a new business. In addition, we received orchids from the chief of police in Changhua, the principal of one of the high schools in the neighborhood, and a supervisor in the Taipei City Police Department; friends of the family.
All of this in hopes of a good first spring for our school.