February 19th, 2015 sees the start of the new year – the Chinese New Year, that is. With it, we say goodbye for now to the horse, and hello to the goat. It’s a time for celebrations, with lanterns, firecrackers, colour, Lions Dances and more; and doubtless, there will be lots of celebrations taking place across the weekend to mark the Festival.
For those wanting to get a feel for China – ancient China in particular – there are lots of Chinese-themed locations to be found in Second Life. Some associated with role-play, others offered as places to visit and enjoy, some which offer a gateway to shopping in SL, and some which mix Chinese and Japanese elements into a happy blend of the ancient oriental, reflective of their past histories and interactions. Others offer what might seem more curious mixes.
China Grove, for example, describes itself as offering a beachfront location with private accommodation, jet skis, swimming, and even topless bathing. But above an behind it sits a beautiful Chinese palace. The work of Selene Nirvana, and featuring creations by designers such as Ryu 竜, the palace sits atop a great rocky outcrop rising about the surrounding lands, protected by broad, strong walls and guarded by its very own terracotta army, complete with chariot-riding warlords.
Reached via a small waterfront village sitting in the protective arms of the palace walls and watched over by dragon canon, the place offers a wealth of colour and opportunities to wander through its cobbled terraces and courtyards, and through its great halls. Tai Chi is offered for those wishing to clear their minds, while a dragon atop a tall tower keeps a vigilant watch towards more open waters, his fire perhaps a beacon for ships trying to find their way to the docks below his high perch.
For another feel of ancient China, one can also visit Jomo, the home of Xiaoduo Abbot’s store, is set amidst a glorious build I wrote about in November 2013. With walls, gardens, places to relax and stages for entertainment, it encourages the visitor not only to shop, but to tarry awhile and explore.
Or, for a different flavour and feel, you can hop over to Aston Leisen’s artful and slightly surreal design called, simply, China, which has been a delight to visitors for several years now, sometimes moving up or down in the sky, but always offering a visual treat and a place were hanging-out and AFKing is welcomed.
I’m barely scratching the surface of things in mentioning these three; but hopefully they’ll be enough to whet your appetite and get you searching things oriental in your SL explorations this weekend, and perhaps enjoying the New Year celebrations.
And while we’ve already seen Yuandan for this particular New Year, if you are worried about bumping into Nian while you’re out and about, just make sure you’re wearing red and carrying a firecracker or two before you leave home!
Kung hei fat choi!