Temple in the sky

Today heralds a bright new year: the Year of the Rabbit. A year of peace and collaboration according to Chinese astrology.

The rabbit symbolizes graciousness, kindness and a sensitivity to beauty.

When I lived in China, it was always a time of great excitement. Students flocked home on overflowing trains – often travelling for days to be re-united with their families.

Red and gold dominated the streets as did happy smiles and the sense of finding a new beginning in the ending of things. And no matter what the weather, we all carried blue skies within us.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” — Lao Tzu


恭喜发财 Gong Xi Fa Cai | Happy Lunar New Year! 兔年顺利 Tu Nian Xun Li.

For more beginnings, please visit: Skywatch.

70 responses

  1. how cool to have lived there…esp during one of these celebrations…cool on the meaning as well..we could use a little of all three of those…love the pics as always too…cool textures in their architecture….

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 12:10

  2. Beautiful photos – I especially like the second one silhouetted against the sky.

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 12:33

  3. your photos makes me want to visit China again! Happy New Year!

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 12:52

  4. Blu

    Fabulous, images and thanks for sharing your memory of China, Happy New Year!

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 13:52

  5. Ash

    AWESOME!!! Love the photo, title and the quote. Gorgeous!!!

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 14:07

  6. superb images!!

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 14:11

  7. “carrying blue skies within us” is something to aspire to every day, isn’t it? And the Lao Tzu quote was quite moving… Thank you. The Chinese New Year is mentioned in educational settings but not much in the “real” world so I am glad you (and other bloggers) reminded me of this. I like the distinctions the Year of The Rabbit bring with it.

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 14:38

  8. You capture beauty quite well…how awesome that you experienced living in China and these celebrations…Happy Lunar New Year!

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 14:52

  9. Great shots & such grand design! =)

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 15:38

  10. So a Happy Year of the Rabbit to us all!

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 15:43

  11. I would miss so much beauty without your photography! The best part, though, is that I’m starting to see it here in my own world. That may well be the best gift I will receive all year.

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 15:55

    • Oh wow – how humbling to hear you say this. And hurray for the beauty that surrounds us!

      Like

      February 3, 2011 at 16:20

  12. LadyFi: That is a beautiful design, nicely captured.

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 16:47

  13. Those are amazing! I love the pendants.

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 17:12

  14. ‘A year of peace and collaboration according to Chinese astrology.’

    go/dess knows we could sure use some of that.

    thanks for visiting me.

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 17:13

  15. the girl from cherry blossom street

    I love the things you see through your lens.
    Oh that red…in the second photo made it all the more special!
    Beautiful!

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 17:40

  16. Happy New Year to you and the rabbit!!! Those pictures are just awesomely beautiful sweetie!!! (turnin’ an ugly color of green here)

    God bless ya and have a warm fuzzy kinda day my friend!!! :o)

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 18:15

  17. Beautiful photos and memories! Happy New Year!

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 21:15

  18. How long were you in China? Where were you.

    Very interesting post.

    Like

    February 3, 2011 at 22:29

    • I lived outside Changsha, Hunan – teaching English at the Agricultural University there for three years.

      Like

      February 4, 2011 at 05:43

  19. I envy your travels. And would love it if you shared more.

    I love the idea of carrying blue skies within us.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 00:22

  20. Fascinating cultural lesson. Great photos. I see and hear about the Chinese New Year. You gave us story behind the story.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 00:47

  21. Happy Year of the Rabbit! Your pics, as always, are stunning.
    Cheers, jj

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 00:47

  22. Happy Year of the Rabbit! How wonderful that you’ve experienced this culture! I always think that red such is a wonderful color for celebrations, weddings and so on.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 03:58

  23. Digby

    Hello Ladyfi!
    Thank you for leaving acomment on my blog!
    I’m so glad you did because I have been really enjoying looking at all the amazing photos you take!

    Hopefully the Mumma Human will become good with her camera like that one day!

    your pal,
    Digby dog

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 04:02

  24. Beautiful post. Thank you for the Lao Tzu quote. I needed it as I think about Andy Pettitte retiring from the Yankees.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 04:38

  25. Peace and collaboration are what we need right now with Egypt and other burning issues going on in our world. Thanks, LadyFi.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 05:11

  26. Wonderful shots!

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 05:33

  27. Thank you for the positive thoughts along with lovely skies! I love the Lao Tzu quote! Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!

    Sylvia

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 05:40

  28. My great grand Father left China for Borneo in 1907.

    I have not returned to the land of my forefathers. Now I live for memories, stories of my grand dad.

    My husband says when they have the fast train, we will go and visit.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 05:59

  29. Happy New Year – just beautiful!

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 06:13

  30. WOW !!! wonderful series of photo’s
    The craftmanship of the builders of those temples never cease to amaze me.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 06:23

  31. A very happy Chinese New Year to you too!
    Lovely images, so perfect for the occasion.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 07:06

  32. beautiful detail foto’s
    Happy New Year

    Happy SWF! Have a good weekend,
    Regards, Bram

    My SkyWatch on WordPress

    Seen on Sky Watch Friday, Season 4, Episode 30

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 08:05

  33. Actually I was born into year of rabbit. Can you guess my age? I wonder if I am gracious, kind and sensitive to beauty?

    “Carrying blue skies within us”: I’ll keep it in mind. Thank you.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 08:11

  34. Wonderful shots.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 09:52

  35. Wow…super shots

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 09:58

  36. A fascinating post! Especiallylove the enchanting curves of these rooflines!

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 10:56

  37. I’ve never been to China but lived in Japan. I love the crazy colors!

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 10:57

  38. what amazing details. i couldn’t figure out what animals are these.

    Kung Hei Fat Choi!

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 11:08

  39. Happy New Year.;) How exciting to have lived in China.;)
    Lovely images and sentiments, have a great Friday,
    xoxo

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 11:13

  40. I once have celebrated Chinese New Year in London’s China town, it was absolutely great !

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 11:17

  41. I was born in the year of the rat.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 12:43

  42. That’s a beautiful temple, I love all the colourful stuff they have around Chinese New Year.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 12:48

  43. Hi LadyFi! Kung Hei Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year! It is celebrated here too in big cities like Rotterdam.
    It’s a colourful happening and just the thing we need in grey months like January and February.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 13:11

  44. The photos are stunning, Lady Fi! Happy New Year and may we all be rabbits.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 17:31

  45. Stunning pictures and composition

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 17:59

  46. I caught your note that you taught in Changsha. I hope it was more recently, because the last time I was there, in 1987, it was the armpit of the world and I have stories… 😀 Lovely shots of the temple roofs. I will greet you in Cantonese, as they were the first to use this expression and my sweetheart is from Guangdong: Kung Hei Fat Choi!

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 18:02

    • I was there 1984-87 so definitely not a congenial place. In fact, for most of my students, I was the first foreigner they had ever seen. My students were lovely, but the authorities did NOT like us foreigners and life was difficult.

      Like

      February 4, 2011 at 18:04

  47. what a wonderful info here and great photos as always Lady Fi. Happy Lunar New Year as well!

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 18:12

  48. Don

    Very beautiful photos!

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 18:20

  49. Wish someday I could visit that place. Thanks for sharing and happy weekend!
    Sky Watch

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 18:24

  50. Beautiful temple shots to usher in the year of the rabbit,Gong Xi Fat Chai!

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 18:58

  51. Simply beautiful…thank you for visiting~

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 19:05

  52. these are really beautiful shots…love how you managed to capture the intricate works…

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 19:05

  53. Gorgeous shots!!!

    thanks for visiting my place

    cheers from Uruguay 🙂

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 19:52

  54. oh my, I’m happy you paid me a visit because I love what you’re doing here; your photos are magnificent! You could teach me a few things, most certainly. And I also love the Lao Tzu quote. have a great weekend, and happy SWF.

    Like

    February 4, 2011 at 19:54

  55. Thanks for reminding me about CNY! And for this awesome info about the Rabbit as I had no idea!

    Like

    February 5, 2011 at 00:18

  56. Living in China would have be a very interesting experience. I will never have an occasion to even visit. I enjoy it when you share some of the sights and points of interest from there.

    Like

    February 5, 2011 at 00:21

  57. Lovely photos and thoughts. Thanks for sharing

    Like

    February 5, 2011 at 00:54

  58. Love the Lao Tzu quote. So true. Beautiful photos and I love “Temple In The Sky”.

    Like

    February 5, 2011 at 01:52

  59. Al

    Great festive photos. Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

    Like

    February 5, 2011 at 01:55

  60. I love that quote. I’ve always found those types of sentiments so profound and yet so simple and difficult at the same time.

    And my son came home all excited about him being born in the year of the monkey! He thought that was terrific!

    Like

    February 5, 2011 at 03:23

  61. Lady Fi! Happy New Year!! I had no idea you lived in China!? How exciting. Alas my chinese sign is the “Boar” or at least thats what it says on the placemat at the Chinese resturaunt!? lol I hope you are having a wonderful start to your New Year:)

    Like

    February 5, 2011 at 04:07

  62. such marvelous architecture…may this year bring abundance, joy and peace to all beings everywhere!

    Like

    February 5, 2011 at 04:09

  63. Great post… Loved the detailed craft on the temples…
    Happy New Year to you too 🙂

    My Yatra Diary…

    Like

    February 5, 2011 at 11:32

  64. I happened to be in Beijing for the Chinese new year in February 2002, a fascinating experience! Great photos!

    Like

    February 6, 2011 at 23:54

  65. Let’s hope the year ends with “peace and collaboration” because it’s sure starting with strife and turmoil.

    I envy you your worldly experience.

    Like

    February 7, 2011 at 19:30

  66. YOU LIVED IN CHINA!! I am guessing another place your father was a diplomat at. WOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!
    Have you written a book, because if so I want to read it.
    AWESOME photos…what art. So much beauty!

    Like

    February 8, 2011 at 14:07

    • I’ve written lots of text books to teach English, but not a book about my life.

      I wasn’t in China with my dad, but under my own steam as a volunteer teacher after I graduated from university.

      Like

      February 8, 2011 at 16:43

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