A Chi­nese New Year Cel­e­bra­tion with Bei­jing Flavour

Bei­jing is a year- round fash­ion­able city. The Spring Fes­ti­val is sec­ond to none be­cause Chi­nese see it as the grand­est day of the year. Many fun ac­tiv­i­ties await peo­ple who visit the city at this time.

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Wang Wei Edited by Mark Zuiderveld Pho­tos by Zhang Xin, Ma Yix­ing, Wang Jianzhong, Bu Xiang­dong

Ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese lu­nar cal­en­dar, the Spring Fes­ti­val of 2018 falls on Fe­bru­ary 16. In Chi­nese cul­ture, spring refers to a sea­son of the growth of all things, whose de­riv­a­tive mean­ing is gen­tle and moist or pos­i­tive.

That’s why Chi­nese see the Spring Fes­ti­val as the grand­est day for the coun­try and the most im­por­tant fam­ily gath­er­ing of the year. The fes­tive at­mos­phere of Chi­nese New Year far sur­passes the Gre­go­rian New Year.

Bei­jing is a fash­ion­able cap­i­tal and is fas­ci­nat­ing, bustling and en­er­getic year-round. Ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture, Spring Fes­ti­val lasts more than a month from prepa­ra­tion to the end­ing. Many fun ac­tiv­i­ties await peo­ple who visit the city at this time.

Ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture, peo­ple know Chi­nese New Year is get­ting closer af­ter eat­ing Laba con­gee to cel­e­brate Laba Fes­ti­val (the eighth day of the twelfth lu­nar month). Ev­ery­one wishes time could go faster on the 23rd day of the 12th lu­nar month, or Xiao­nian (“small year”), mean­ing time to start to pre­pare for Chi­nese New Year.

Dec­o­rat­ing a house with cou­plets to cel­e­brate the fes­ti­val and give one‘s home aus­pi­cious bless­ings and the Chi­nese char­ac­ter fu (hap­pi­ness) writ­ten or printed on red paper is a must. Peo­ple say “red paper is in­vited” be­cause avoid­ing terms like “bought” and “sold” ex­presses the best wishes of Chi­nese peo­ple dur­ing the fes­ti­val. Dec­o­rat­ing one’s home with green plants such as hy­acinths, and rib­bon dra­caena in time for the fes­ti­val is also com­mon.

Par­ents can se­lect red en­velopes with pat­terns and aus­pi­cious bless­ings printed on them to give ya­suiqian— money given to chil­dren as a gift for Chi­nese New Year. The Spring Fes­ti­val is the busiest time of year for in­her­i­tors of in­tan­gi­ble her­itage, as they have to meet the de­mands of the fes­ti­val such as show­cas­ing and sell­ing their prod­ucts at tem­ple fairs from the 30th day of the 12th lu­nar month to the 15th day of the first lu­nar month. Paper cut­ting show­cases the Chi­nese zo­diac of the New Year; small red lanterns and swal­low-shaped kites catch peo­ple’s eyes, as if to rep­re­sent a ray of hope and the dream of flight.

Have a happy Spring Fes­ti­val and Year of the Dog!

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