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.
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!