“On the second day of the second month, the dragon lifts his head.” Dragons were traditionally considered the king of all the insects and also the bringers of rain. So the end of winter, with its thunderstorming dragons and insects awakened from hibernation, was celebrated on “2 Month 2.” On this night, the stars of the azure dragon constellation appear for the first time of the year, lending the day one of its other names: Blue Dragon Day. This year, it fell on March 2.
Historically, it was a day of cleansing—tidying the winter bed linens to be stored through the summer, burning incense to keep insects at bay. And in this spirit of spring cleaning, Dragon Heads Raising Day is also an auspicious day for a haircut. It was long believed to be dangerous to get your hair trimmed during the first month of the lunar year. Specifically, having your haircut in the first month would cause your maternal uncle to die. (Matt and Andy, you can thank me later.) When the first month is finally over, there are a lot of people headed to the salon. It’s considered especially lucky for little boys to get their hair cut on this day.
So it seemed only fitting that we take Simon for his first proper haircut. Joel had been getting somewhat antsy about Simon’s “mullet.” Yes, it’s true that when his hair was wet, the back would hang all the way down to his shoulders. As soon as it dried, it turned into wavy little baby curls, but it was starting to get unruly.
We walked into Tangjia and found a friendly-looking barber shop. We happened to bump into a couple of interns from the college who helpfully translated for us (No buzz cut! Only scissors!) and held Simon’s shoulders steady. With a constant supply of goldfish crackers and gentle encouragement, five adults managed to keep the boy placated through the whole experience. And not a single tear was shed—not even by the mama, whose little boy is looking so grown up now.