Happy Water Tiger Year

C.E. Wheeler
3 min readJan 31, 2022

It’s Chinese New Years time. This Spring Festival (Lunar New Years) is going to be more subdued than usual because of the Covid — again. This is the year 4719 in the ancient Chinese calendar. I enjoyed some great holiday celebrations during the twelve years I lived in China. We would travel, along with literally a billion others. It was truly the largest party in the world. The photo is from my wife’s family home. I got to place the door guardians on the front door. My brother-in-law the artist wrote the poetry.

Check out my China Collage pages for photo-essays about my time in China. China Collage

Wild Chinese New Years Fireworks — 2008 — My first year in China. This was outside my apartment where I lived during my time as a university lecturer in Hangzhou.

My wife and I first met face-to-face on New Years. Because of the long holiday we could have time together. Her family went back to the hometown and we had the family apartment to ourselves. To say our time together was magical would be an understatement. My wife (then future wife) called her family and for the first time I spoke to them her brothers and sister wished me Happy New Years. In my wife’s family, her mom was the boss. So if mom liked you, you were in. I will never forget her mom’s happy laugh when I told her Gong Hei Fat Choi — Cantonese for wishing you great happiness and prosperity. My wife’s family are Cantonese. Cantonese are wonderful to celebrate holidays with.

Good Luck Celestial Lion Ceremony at Family Home

The photo is a blessing my mother-in-law gave us. I have reverently placed it on the back of the door in every place we have lived.

Like me, my wife’s mom and dad passed away so the holidays are a little less festive. My mother-in-law always made sure to have the candy we both liked. Her favorite New Years food was kou rou — taro with braised pork belly. Each year, I was honored when she would pluck a hunk of fatty pork from the dish and place it in my bowl with a nod of the head, saying “Lao Zhuang” (My family nickname).

WITF New Years Firecracker Dragon Battle. One of my brave students filmed this for me.

Celestial Lion in my Wife’s Home Village This was filmed next to the village’s anicent sacred tree. Every village in China has a sacred tree or nature spot which brings prosperity and luck to those who show proper respect. The food in the restaurant is tasty, but the ambiance is not so great :-)

Beautiful artistry. Awesome New Years Dragon Dance

Lantern Day is the last day of the Chinese New Years. When I was the managing editor of a monthly magazine, I went to a food festival with my wife and my friend and fellow magazine editor Candice. It was a wonderfully crazy time.



C.E. Wheeler

Writer, Artist. Manifests Positivity. Neotranscendentalist. Spiritual nature. Taoism enthusiast. Editor & Univ. Lecturer in China 12 yrs. Https://cewheeler.art