I’m visiting Mom and Dad in Buffalo now.
Buffalo is a city with a very unique, somewhat insular mindset and culture. Even though I grew up here, I never had an insight into some of the area’s traditions; I come from a middle-class WASP/J background, instead of the overwhelmingly dominant ethnic blue-collar Catholic culture.
While I’ve been back here, I’ve seen lots of signs, especially at churches, fire halls and fraternal organization buildings, advertising “Chinese auctions” and “meat raffles.” Chinese auctions have been around forever, and I’ve never seen them outside of Buffalo. Meat raffles seem like a new phenomenon, and again it’s something I haven’t seen beyond the area.
So, Dopers … what’s a Chinese auction, what’s a meat raffle, and are there other parts of the US or the world where they are common or popular?