I was up past midnight doing “Artist Yoga”, aka frantically organizing prints for Fanime (at the San Jose Convention Center)
I’ll be in the Artist Alley at table 1603 from May 27th -30th doing more “Artist Yoga” and bending backwards trying to grab all the prints lol. Come by and w̶a̶t̶c̶h̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶b̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶p̶a̶i̶n̶ say hi! :D
(That’s my 100 gallon aquaponics system in the background and a giant origami fish on the wall named Fat Louie…)
Tet Nguyen Đan, more commonly known by its shortened nameTet, is the most important and popular holiday and festival in Vietnam. It isthe Vietnamese New Year derived from the Chinese New Year based on the Lunarcalendar, alunisolar calendar. The name Tet Nguyen Đan is Sino-Vietnamese forFeast of the First Morning
Tet is celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year though
exceptions arise due to the one-hour time difference between Hanoi and Beijing.
It takes place from the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar
(around late January or early February) until at least the third day. Tet
shares many of the same customs of its Chinese counterpart, having been derived
from it. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tet by cooking special holiday foods and
cleaning the house. There are a lot of customs practiced during Tet, like
visiting a person’s house on the first day of the new year (Xong Nha),
ancestral worshipping, wishing New Year’s greetings, giving lucky money to
children and elderly people, and opening a shop.
Tet is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions.
During Tet, Vietnamese visit their relatives and temples, forgetting about the
troubles of the past year and hoping for a better upcoming year. They consider
Tet to be the first day of spring and the festival is often called Hoi Xuan (spring
Vietnamese people usually return to their families during
Tet. Some return to worship at the family altar or visit the graves of their
ancestors in their homeland. Although Tet is a national holiday among all
Vietnamese, each region and religion has its own customs.
Tet in the three Vietnamese regions can be divided into
three periods, known as Tat Nien (Before New Year’s Eve), Giao Thua (New Year’s
Eve), and Tan Nien (the New Year), representing the preparation before Tet, the
eve of Tet, and the days of and following Tet, respectively. All of these
customs are in Tet in Vietnam.
BEFORE NEW YEAR’S EVE
This period begins one or two weeks before the actual
celebration. The general atmosphere leading up to Tet is in the bustle of
shopping, decorating the home, cooking traditional Tet food and waiting for
relatives to return home. People try to pay off their debts in advance so that
they can be debt-free on Tet. Parents buy new clothes for their children so
that the children can wear them when Tet arrives. Because a lot of commercial
activity will cease during the celebrations, people try to stock up on supplies
as much as possible.
In the days leading up to Tet, the streets and markets are
full of people. As the shops will be closed during Tet, everyone is busy buying
food, clothes, and decorations for their house.
Vietnamese families usually have a family altar, to pay
respect to their ancestors. Vietnamese families have a tray of five fruits on
their altar called “Ngu Qua”, including banana, orange, kumquat,
pomelo and finger citron [some other places have Custard Apple, Coconut,
Papaya, Mango and Pineapple; since it spells out Cau, Dua, Du, Xai]. Each fruit
conveys a different meaning. Pomelos promise a lucky and sweet year. Banana and
finger citron symbolize a protective hand while kumquats and oranges represent
success and prosperity. During Tet the altar is thoroughly cleaned and new
offerings are placed there. Traditionally, the three kitchen guardians for each
house (Ong Tao) (Kitchen God), who report to the Jade Emperor about the events
in that house over the past year, return to heaven on the 23rd day of the
twelfth month by lunar calendar.
In the days leading up to Tet, each family cooks special
holiday foods such as bánh chưng and bánh dầy. Preparations for these foods are
quite extensive. Family members often take turns to keep watch on the fire
overnight, telling each other stories about Tet of past years.
THE NEW YEAR
The first day of Tet is reserved for the nuclear family.
Children receive a red envelope containing money from their elders. This tradition
is called Mung Tuoi (happy new age) in the north and lì xì in the south.
Usually, children wear their new clothes and give their elders the traditional Tet
greetings before receiving the money. Since the Vietnamese believe that the
first visitor a family receives in the year determines their fortune for the
entire year, people never enter any house on the first day without being
invited first. The act of being the first person to enter a house on Tet is
called Xong Dat, Xong Nha or Dap Dat, which is one of the most important
rituals during Tet. According to Vietnamese tradition, if good things come to
the family on the first day of the lunar New Year, the entire following year
will also be full of blessings. Usually, a person of good temper, morality and
success will be the lucky sign for the host family and be invited first into
However, just to be safe, the owner of the house will leave
the house a few minutes before midnight and come back just as the clock strikes
midnight to prevent anyone else entering the house first who might potentially
bring any unfortunate events in the new year to the household.
Sweeping during Tet is taboo or Xui (unlucky), since it
symbolizes sweeping the luck away. It is also taboo for anyone who experienced
a recent loss of a family member to visit anyone else during Tet.
During subsequent days, people visit relatives and friends.
Traditionally but not strictly, the second day of Tet is usually reserved for
friends, while the third day is for teachers. LocalBuddhist temples are popular
spots as people like to give donations and to get their fortunes told during Tet.
Children are free to spend their new money on toys or on gamblinggames such as Bau Cua Ca Cop, which can be found in the streets. Prosperous families can pay
for dragon dancers to perform at their house. There are also public
performances for everyone to watch.
Traditionally, each family displays Cay Neu, an artificial
New Year Tree consisting of a bamboo pole 5 to 6 m long. The top end is usually
decorated with many objects, depending on the locality, including good luck
charms, origami fish, cactus branches, etc.
At Tet every house is usually decorated by Hoa Mai – Ochna
integerrima (in the central and southern parts of Vietnam) or HoaDao – Peach
flower (in the northern part of Vietnam) or Hoa Ban (in mountain areas). In the
north, some people (especially the elite in the past) also decorate their house
with a Prunus mume tree (also called Mai in Vietnamese). In the north or
central, the kumquat tree is a popular decoration for the living room during Tet.
Its many fruits symbolize the fertility and fruitfulness that the family hopes
for in the coming year.
Vietnamese people also decorate their homes with bonsaiand
flower plants such as chrysanthemum (Hoa Cuc), marigold (Van Tho) symbolizing
longevity, Mao Ga in Southern Vietnam and paperwhite flower (Thuy Tien),
lavender (Violet), Hoa Buom in Northern Vietnam. In the past, there was a
tradition that old people tried to make their paperwhite flowers blossom right
the watch-night time. They also hung up Dong Ho Paintings and Thu Phap (calligraphy pictures).
The traditional greetings are “Chuc Mung Nam Moi“
and ”Cung Chuc Tan Xuan“ (Happy New Year). People also wish each
other prosperity and luck. Common wishes for Tet include:
Live up to 100 years: used by children for elders.
Traditionally, everyone is one year older on Tet, so children would wish their
grandparents health and longevity in exchange for Mung Tuoi or Li Xi
health, and prosperity
May a myriad things go according to your will
Plenty of health
Congratulations and be prosperous
May money flow in like water
In Vietnam, to celebrate Tet is to An Tet, literally meaning
"Tet eating”, showing the importance of food in its celebration. Some
of the food is also eaten year-round, while other dishes are only eaten during Tet.
Also, some of the food is vegetarian since it is believed to be good luck to
eat vegetarian on Tet. Some traditional food on Tet are:
Banh Chung and Banh Giay: essentially tightly packedsticky
rice with meat or bean fillings wrapped in banana leaves. Banh Chung (rectangular) and Bánh Giay (circular) are symbolically connected with Tet and
are essential in any Tet celebration. Preparation is time-consuming, and can
take days to cook. The story of their origins and their connection with Tet is
often recounted to children while cooking them overnight.
Hat Dua: roasted watermelon seeds, also eaten during Tet.
Dua Hanh: pickled onion and pickled cabbage.
Cu Kieu: pickled small leeks.
Mut: These dried candied fruits are rarely eaten at any time
Cau Dua Du Xoai - In southern Vietnam, popular fruits used
for offerings at the family altar in fruit arranging art are the
custard-apple/sugar-apple/soursop (Mang Cau), coconut (Dua), papaya (Du Du),
and mango (Xoai), since they sound like “Cau Vua Du Xai” ([We] pray
for enough [money] to spend) in the southern dialect of Vietnamese.
Thit Kho Nuoc Dua Meaning “Meat Stewed in Coconut
Juice”, it is a traditional dish of pork and medium boiled eggs stewed in
a broth-like sauce made of young coconut juice and Nuoc Mam. It is often eaten
with pickled bean sprouts and chives, and white rice.
People are delighted to enjoy exciting games during Tet:Bau Cua, Co Tuong, Nem Con, Choi Trau, Da Ga, marshmallow toss, etc…They also
participate in some competitions presenting their knowledge, strength and
aestheticism such as: bird competition and Ngam Tho competition.
People can also visit fortune tellers, in temples and in the
streets, to have their fortunes told. You must know your zodiac sign and the
star you were born under to have your fortune read.
CUSTOMS AND TABOOS
These customs come from traditions passed from generation to
generation and have become standard. Because of the idea that the beginning
will affect the middle and the end of the year, Vietnamese people avoid doing
bad things and try to do good things during Tet holiday.
One should give people lucky presents to enhance the
relationship between themselves and others: new clothes, peach branches (for
expelling evil), cocks (wishing for good manners), new rice (wishing for being
well-fed), rice wine in a gourd (wishing for a rich and comfortable life), Banh Chung (or Banh Tet) and Banh Giay which symbolize sky and earth (for worshipping
the ancestors), red things (red symbolizes happiness, luckiness, advantages)
like watermelon, dogs (the bark – Gau Gau – sounds like the word Giau - richness
in Vietnamese language), medicated oil (Dau in Vietnamese, also sounds similar
One should give lucky Dong Ho Paintings such as: “Ga Dan“ (wishing for having many children), or ”Vinh Hoa”, but
should not give unlucky Dong Ho paintings like “Danh Ghen“ related to
One should buy a lot of water for Tet, because people wish
for money to flow like water currents in a stream (proverb: “Tien Vo Nhu Nuoc”).
One should sprinkle lime powder around the house to expel
One should return all things borrowed, and pay debts before Tet.
One shouldn’t say or do bad things during Tet.
One shouldn’t hurt or kill animals or plants but should set
them free. The reason for this originates from Buddhism’s causality.
One shouldn’t sweep the house or empty out the rubbish to
avoid luck and benefits going with it, especially on the first day of the new
year. One shouldn’t let the broom in confusion if people don’t want it to be
One shouldn’t give these presents to others: clock or watch
(the recipient’s time is going to pass), cats (Meo in Vietnamese language
pronounced like Ngheo, poverty), medicine (the receiver will get ill), cuttle
fish (its ink is black, an unlucky colour), writing ink (for the same reason),
scissors or knives (they bring incompatibility).
One shouldn’t have duck meat because it brings unluckiness.
One shouldn’t have shrimp in case one would move backwards
like shrimp, in other words, one would not succeed.
One shouldn’t buy or wear white clothes because white is the
colour of funerals in Vietnam.
One shouldn’t let the rice-hulling mill go empty because it
symbolizes failed crops.
One shouldn’t refuse anything others give or wish you during
Dear Persians/Iranians who Celebrate New Years with Red Fish:
I am will be upfront with you - I am white. Very white. And a little ignorant. All I know really about your culture is that it has a rich history with beautiful art and wonderful people that I have not had the good fortune to study. As such, I will not tell you how to celebrate your culture and traditions.
However, I do know a lot about fish. And I can tell you that keeping a goldfish in a bowl for extended periods of time is abuse - you are causing extensive damage to a wonderful fish by keeping them in their own waste and not giving them enough space. By keeping them in their own waste you are literally burning their gills off with ammonia. By not giving them enough space you cause them to be listless and to stunt - which is when bones start growing in the wrong ways, causing massive pain and damage to internal organs.
I know the tradition of red fish on the table is not one borne of malice, but rather the desire to usher good luck and life into the new year.
As such, I would like to offer a few fish-free alternatives:
-The candy Swedish Fish in bowls
-Have the kids make paper or even origami fish!
-Red flowers (red is luck, and you want something alive, right?)
-A red betta. Long term it is cruel to keep them in a bowl, but they will do much better for New Year than a goldfish. They also stay much smaller and really only need a gently filtered and heated 5 gallon (whereas goldfish need a pond).
-Keep the goldfish in a filtered tank. If the tank can fit in your table, though, it is likely not a permanent home for goldfish - they can get over a foot.
If Goldfish Cannot Be Avoided:
-Do water changes with dechlorinated water as often as possible. Leaving the water out for 24 hours WILL NOT dechlorinate the water, you NEED the drops. Spring water, RO water, and other bottled water should be fine, but it’s cheaper to use the drops.
-Add freshwater aquarium salt to their water. “Can’t I use table salt? Isn’t it the same?” A salt is anything that forms when an acid and a base mix, and as such there are a LOT of different types of salt. Table salt (NaCl) is different from freshwater aquarium salt (which is in turn different from saltwater salt and also different from Epsom salt). Salt boosts the fish’s slime coat production and basically acts as a vitamin and electrolyte. Any other type of salt could kill them by dehydrating them. (Seriously - it’ll create a hypertonic environment that will suck water out of the fish. Aquarium salt creates a hypotonic solution that increases the fish’s water retention).
-Put the goldfish into a cycled tank as soon as possible. Do NOT mix with tropical fish (guppies, tetra, ect) or fancy goldfish (the ones with squished bodies). Tropical fish and goldfish require massively different water parameters, and comet/pond/shubunkin goldfish will out-compete fancy goldfish (fan tails, orandas, telescopes, ect).
-Wait until the average temperature is around 60F (even at night) and put them into a man-made pond that DOES NOT go into a local estuary, preferably one that already has some goldfish in it. Releasing goldfish into the wild is incredibly illegal and has immense negative ramifications: they will out-compete native fauna and over-eat native flora. Goldfish have no native range - they are a man-made fish found only in captivity.
-Try not to use the fish as feeders for other, pescivorous fish or turtles. They’re all fat and have a high risk of disease transfer.
-Your local fish store will, more than likely, very willingly take them back!
-DO NOT OVER FEED. Your fish really need one to two flakes each a day! Over feeding will increase the amount of waste in the tank.
A happy, healthy fish is luckier than a dead one.
Have a great new year!
A fish store clerk who is saddened by Persian New Year customers who clearly don’t care about the fish. (I mean some are great, but most genuinely don’t seem to care)
I've been thinking- A Badboy nalu au where natsu breaks heart left and right and Ezra says to him "one day you're going to meet a girl that you're gonna fall head over heels for and she's gonna break your heart and you'll know exactly what it's like" and he's like "nah" but then he meets Lucy and just "oh shit"
Ink-Stained Skin and Origami
Natsu had a problem.
Erza scowled at her friend who was seated across from her at the lunch table, not approving of his poor posture or attitude at the moment. She watched as he shot a wink at a cute brunette across the cafeteria, and noticed how he was purposefully angled away from the pining girl on the other end of the long table who he’d been flirting with just last week.
So yeah, as far as Erza was concerned, her friend needed help.
“What?” he asked, noticing her frown as he scratched at his upper arm that was covered by his flannel, where she knew he was hiding his newest tattoo. Or rather, the newest addition to an old tattoo. He wouldn’t let anyone see it, nor would he explain the small bits seen from time to time that would poke out beneath his sleeve.
Not until it’s finished, he would always say, quick to hide the ink-stained skin once it was pointed out.
“Nothing,” the redhead replied with just as much attitude, not in the mood for her friend’s snark so early on in the day. “I’m just tired of you being such an ass when it comes to girls.”
She watched as his lips pulled back into a smirk, showing off those sharp canines that made him intimidating to anyone who didn’t know him personally–which, actually, was mostly everyone.
Natsu wasn’t a people person.
“I can’t help it if they can’t resist me.”
“You can help it by not flirting with anything that breathes.”
“I don’t flirt with dudes.”
“What?” That straightened the boy’s posture real quick, and Erza struggled to keep her grin at bay.
“You get pretty frisky with Gray at times.”
Erza had never experienced Natsu’s eye twitch before, but it was actually a pretty hilarious sight.
“I’m ignoring you for the rest of the day.”
“You’re already not ignoring me by saying that.”
“Damnit!” Natsu ran his hands down his face, and Erza watched from her peripherals as a fair number of girls around them took the opportunity to openly goggle at the boy while his eyes were covered.
“All I’m saying,” she said as she cooly began to collect both her trash and his from the table, making a small, organized pile on her tray. “Karma is a very real thing, Natsu. One of these days you’re going to meet a girl who drives you crazy in all the right ways, and she’s gonna break your heart. I hope you’re ready.”
The boy merely rolled his eyes, however, snorting. “Yeah right,” he grumbled dismissively, not bothering to say anything as Erza stood from the table to leave.
It wasn’t until she was halfway out the door that he realized she had left him with their trays.
Natsu sat at the back of the classroom as his classmates slowly filtered in. He was too busy trying to make an origami fish out of one of his old tardy slips he’d found in his backpack, but he forgot what the fifth fold was supposed to be and soon gave up.
He tossed the small, half-done fish to the floor, not bothering to see where it landed.
Then he heard a soft, “Oh.”
But he didn’t bother to look, seeing as how he didn’t remember there being any real interesting girl’s in this period. He focused on his notebook as the teacher started class, sketching pieces that he hoped to transfer to the bricks of an abandoned building downtown as soon as he got the chance.
He was so invested in getting the flames just right that he barely registered the small, dainty hand that deposited something on the corner of his desk.
But he saw her wristband, and he paused.
It had the Fairy Tail emblem on it, an indie band that wasn’t very well-known by anyone in the school since it was so new.
Natsu looked over to see a face that he hadn’t seen before, but damn, if it didn’t make him pause. He would’ve remembered seeing such big eyes that were such an odd shade of brown.
Her hair was pulled away from her face in a loose braid, and she was shyly avoiding his gaze while being careful to write down every word the teacher was saying.
Must be a new girl. Everyone else knew the teacher practically handed them the answers the day of the final.
But who was she?
She peeked over at him for the briefest of seconds, her cheeks turning a light shade of pink as she blushed when she realized she’d been caught.
Natsu felt his chest grow tight.
What the hell was wrong with him?
He desperately wanted to shake himself out of it and throw her wink, or the signature smirk that he gave the rest of the girls in his grade, but he found himself frozen. Something about this girl just left him… wondering, puzzled, perplexed.
He suddenly wanted to know everything about her, starting with the wristband.
The bell rang just then, at that very moment however, and the girl was one of the first ones out the door. Meanwhile, Natsu was still glued to his seat, gazing after her.
His eyes fell back to his sketch, but he was no longer interested in finishing it. He closed the notebook with a heavy thump, returning the pen to his pocket when he remembered that the strange girl had dropped something on his desk.
After zipping his backpack, he stood, and that’s when he spotted it, right there on the corner of his desk.
She’d finished his origami fish, and had even added eyes and fins with a purple pen.
I didn’t do much last week because I had to prepare for the wedding of a close friend :3 They got married this weekend and I enjoyed the whole ceremony (^-^) So all I did was get some last minute stuff and wrap the gifts and fold some flowers to decorate the gifts (*ΦωΦ)
I enjoy making Origami for my friends and family (^-^) This made me realize that I didn’t make an Origami post for some time :D So here are some Origami fish I made and I learned how to make かぶと (Samurai helmet :) at a Japanese christmas market in Berlin (๑´•.̫ • `๑)
At some point I picked up a set of Origami instructions for かぶと but they were incomplete and I got frustrated but it turns out they are super easy to make (^-^;) I want to make one for a friend who has a white cat so she (the cat :) will look like Hikonyan (the mascot of Hikone which is my favourite mascot :D I like Musubi (the mascot of Sendai :) too (^-^)
I bought a new てぬぎ (tenugi which is kind of a shawl that you can wrap around your head :) ふろしき(Furoshiki which is a “magical” wrapping cloth :D I have many てぬぎ as I used to wear them under my めん (helmet used for Kendo :) and later on I used them for cycling and in the workshop :3 As someone who is depending on his glasses てぬぎ are very helpful because you can wrap them around your head and thus prevent sweat from running over your glasses and making your glasses look messy (not to mention that you can barely see while your glasses are sweaty (@_@) I like this red and goldish yellow design :3 The てぬぎ with the skulls is an old one that I use to wrap my iPad and the blue one is the one I usually wear in the workshop :) The blue one is a little worn and I think I need to replace it soon so I’m glad I found one that looks nice :D
I guess I can be a little girly when it comes to things like ゆかた、きもの、てぬぎ、ふしき (Yukata, Kimono, Tenugi, Furoshiki :)
Sometimes I wish I could go to some kind of Japanese club thingy to do Origami, meet Japanese people, learn Japanese and do all kinds of Japanesey things :D I find it very rewarding to be able to use a little Japanese as I need to learn it from my textbooks and youtube (my schedule doesn’t allow me to go to Japanese lessons (^-^;) so I’m always afraid that my pronunciation will sounds horrible to Japanese :D Fortunately I did well today (^-^)b I hope to pass JLPT N5 next year but I still need to learn a lot of things for it :)
I really do miss my Kendo Dojo :D It was one of the things I had to give up in order to study (; _ ;)
I hope I will be able to do some more work this week and to finish another letter of application :)
I wish all of you a great new week and warm feet (^-^)/
Track 7 was coming up next, her favorite song on the album, so she raised her fingers to the button on her headphones to adjust the volume.
Her camera hung loosely from its strap around her neck, and she used one hand to help support the device to lighten the weight. The upside to moving around a lot was always having new surroundings. Lucy never took a picture of the same thing twice, mostly because she never knew when her father would be packing up their things again to hit the road.
His business was forever expanding all across the nation, and he was hell-bent on always being on-site for the building up period. It used to drive Lucy insane, moving from school to school, but over the years she learned how to cope with the cardboard boxes and U-Haul trucks.
She spent her time taking pictures of every downtowns’ graffiti. Some cities were better than others, but not to Lucy’s camera. It held no opinion as it snapped shot after shot, holding the evidence to feelings deeper than just spray paint on old fading bricks.
Her bracelets clink and tangle together as she raised her arms to get the right angle.
It was Sunday, which meant she had only one day left before she would be starting her first day in the middle of Magnolia High’s second semester. Not the best time for the new kid to make their first appearance, but Lucky Heart Enterprise has already proved on multiple occasions to not give a shit about its CEO’s daughter and her “feelings”.
The shutter went off as Lucy pressed the button, and she didn’t even bother to check the digital screen.
The city was too large to chance taking multiple shots, or wait around all day for the “perfect” picture. It wasn’t her art anyway, so why should she worry about taking credit for a snapshot of something so personal?
The pictures stayed with her in a large, leather-bound photo album that her father had given her one Christmas. And if the Heartfilia’s miraculously stayed in one place for more than a few months, Lucy would allow herself to pick a favorite or two to tape to her walls or slide in the frame of her mirror.
Not too many though, because she would leave the pictures there once they moved, so that maybe whoever would occupy their house next would see the graffiti and be inspired to go out and search for it themselves.
Lucy would always grin as she did so, as she hid a secret that only she would know the answer to.
Aight so the 5th time I came out as pan it was to my lunch table. I was super nervous and my best friend sits at my table and she didn’t know yet so I was even more nervous about it. It was this year, on Valentine’s Day.
My little brother had to make treat bags for his class and we had some left over so I made some little treat bags for my table. I also had these little origami fish note things (you write something on the grid side and then fold it up into a little fish) so I wrote a message for each person at my table. Please keep in mind I wrote these at 4am so my handwriting is terrible.
At lunch I gave them each their bags and had them take out their origami fish. I was shaking and really scared and they each read theirs aloud, going counterclockwise around the table. And the thing is, knowing me, they all thought it was going to be something silly meanwhile I was over here sweatin’ but anywayyyy we got to the last one and they all looked at me and I went “I’M PANSEXUAL!!!” and I was so scared but then they were like “Awwww” “Aww really?” “Omg aw” and they all smiled at me and then I fucking cried and it was great and I love them so much. They were so supportive and they thought it was the cutest way to come out.