Yet another storm was bringing snow to the East Coast as we were enjoying sunny days, temperatures in the 70s, and the Full Worm Moon* over the Anza-Borrego Desert at the beginning of March. We did have a brief shower on our first day and snow fell on the Laguna Mountains that we had passed over the day before. The passing storm brought ghostly cloud formations.
We also continued celebrating the Lunar New Year,* the Year of the Wood Sheep, that began on the new moon, February 19, and continued until the arrival of the full moon and Lantern Festival on March 5. For the occasion, Larry made an Almond Bundt Cake with a Chinese figurine centerpiece symbolizing the Year of the Sheep.*
A Chinese dragon is seen in the image above and traditionally symbolizes auspicious powers, strength, and good luck. The predominant color used in Lunar New Year celebrations is red, symbolizing joy, virtue, truth, sincerity, and prosperity. Larry decorated our campsite with festive symbols and colors that included a flying Chinese dragon that we call Fenghuang.
Our Fenghuang has a dragon head chasing the mystical flaming pearl of wisdom and truth, Chinese phoenix wings, and carp scales and tail (In Chinese mythology, carp that can leap the Yellow River falls are transformed into dragons* and fly off into the sky). Fenghuang symbolizes the union of yin and yang. It also symbolizes high virtue and grace, and is the name we gave to our rig (“feng” is male, our F-250 tow vehicle, and “huang” is female, our Airstream Safari trailer).
The pot stickers were made and then fried and steamed.
We celebrated the last day of the Lunar New Year celebrations by hanging Chinese paper lanterns that my late father gave us over twenty years ago (last month we celebrated our 44th anniversary of being together)!
As the full moon appeared on the desert horizon, we placed flickering LED tea candles in the lanterns.
Friends joined us for this joyful and magical moment as we watched the moon rise and the lanterns gently sway in the breeze on this Lantern Festival night.*
*This is a link to a YouTube video.