Chinese New Year at Nan Hua Temple

entrance 2

me with ash copy

Every year my mom and I try to get out to the Nan Hua Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorstpruit for Chinese New Year. Nan Hua Temple is the largest temple and seminary in Africa. This year, on 2 February, we managed to get out to it and I am so glad we did! The first time I went to the temple I was blown away by its beauty and all of the cultural festivities for new year. It’s definitely become increasingly popular with tourists because every time I go there are more and more people. You have to get there early so that you get a good spot with a view of the dragon and lion dances in the morning.

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monk

When the show is done you can walk around the grounds, try out different foods, do some shopping at the little stalls and go inside the big temple. One of the things I love doing at Nan Hua is sitting inside the big temple where you can sit quietly, take in your surroundings, watch people who’ve come to pray and say a little prayer yourself.

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big temple 4

buddha 4

I got some dumplings for lunch, one of my favourite asian foods, and I finally got to try out bubble tea also known as pearl milk tea. I quite enjoyed it! After visiting the big temple and taking photos my mom and I settled on the grass and enjoyed stir fried vegetables with noodles and sushi. At two of the stalls I bought a beautiful tea cup, with a strainer that fits on top, for my green tea and a lucky bamboo plant for the house.

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bamboo and cup

Envelopes were handed out to all of us for new year which had a coin, a card with a message and a golden card. The paper in mine said “Show happiness with your expression. Bear responsibilities with your shoulders. Make a better life with your smile. Embrace the world with your heart”.

new year card

There is also an amazing wishing tree where you can make a wish. I first made a wish there in 2011 and made another one this year for 2014. You get a coin with a ribbon attached and you are supposed to write down a wish and then take the coin and ribbon and throw them into the tree. A man who works at the temple told me that your wish begins as soon as you write it down on the ribbon. He also told me that my mind is very powerful and can make my wishes come true. I’m looking forward to my wish this year.

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wishing tree 2

All in all it was a great day out and I can’t wait to go back next year again! Wishing you all a prosperous year of the horse!

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buddha 2

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Mom’s birthday picnic at the JHB Zoo

On 19 December my brother and I took our mom to the JHB Zoo to see the Christmas lights and have a picnic for dinner. We got there just before the sun set and couldn’t wait to walk around and spot some animals. We grew up in the bush next to the Kruger Park and growing up learnt a lot about nature and wildlife. Just as we arrived we were lucky enough to see a bear, pumas, a tiger, lions, armadillos and a few other animals. My highlight of the evening was patting a Shire Draught Horse! What a beauty! Once the sun had set we could no longer see the animals so we walked to the Christmas lights and got to see the beautiful Christmas tree that had been erected on the lawn. Many families were there enjoying family time and picnics on their blankets. All in all we had a great night out and enjoyed a special birthday with our mom at the Zoo.

xmas tree at the zoo

night lights
Me and sib at the zoo

 

mom and me at the zoo

Me and horse at zoo