Monday, February 8, 2016

Spring Festival celebrated across China

From the southernmost islands to the icebound provinces in the north, people across China are celebrating the lunar new year, or Spring Festival which falls on Monday.

Liu Chao and his wife from an impoverished village in southwest China's Guizhou Province have been preparing for the new year's eve dinner the whole day.

The couple cooked 18 dishes for the most important meal in the year, such as home-made smoked pork and pickles, fresh vegetables they planted and ham sausage bought in a supermarket. Fruits, candies and soda were also on the table.

Their children gathered around the table and waited eagerly for the dinner to begin. For the first time they were not scolded for sneaking food.

"As life is getting better, dishes are richer than before," said Luo Yanhong, the wife.

After the dinner, Chang Xiaolu in Shanghai began packing for a family trip to Hainan Province in south China. "The climate there is warm and pleasant, especially suitable for my aged parents, and we set out tomorrow," Chang said.

While in north China's Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, self-driving travellers have gathered to experience the feeling of snow and ice.

The regional tourism bureau said various options including winter sports, prairie customs performance and hot spring are offered for urban dwellers who want a city getaway during the holiday.

For most Chinese, the new year's eve is dedicated to the four-hour-long gala that started at 8 p.m. on the state broadcaster. This year, many of them held a smartphone in hand for "gift money".

Chinese Internet giants including Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu gave out more than 1 billion yuan (152 million US dollars) as gift money on the night to woo as many mobile payment users as possible.

Villagers in Qingcheng Township, east China's Shandong Province, where smartphone are not so popular, however, preferred an original gala that was staged by themselves.

People from five villages performed dancing, opera singing, standing comedy and even magic shows in a courtyard, which was completely packed with people despite the biting cold.

The gala in Dongdazhang Village began in 1950s and 60s, and has evolved from a local opera gathering to an annual variety show that attracts audience from nearby villages.

In the mountainous Sichuan Province, rural residents in Qishan Village were having a house-warming time just before the lunar new year.

The local government invested 550 million yuan last year to help 8,297 households living in dilapidated homes move into new homes.

"A new house and brand new furniture, I have dreamed about it all my life and now it has come true," said 70-year-old Chen Mingquan.

Fishermen in one of China's southernmost islands of Yongxing, Sansha City poured wine and laid out offerings at a port to worship their predecessors.

After midnight, the Year of Monkey begins. It's another year of hard work and expectation.

1 comment:

  1. As the Lunar New Year of the Monkey swings into action Feb. 8, fortune tellers foresee 12 months of political and financial turbulence at the hands of the mischievous, unpredictable creature....

    Hong Kong's respected feng shui masters expect an incendiary mix as the monkey combines with the fire element, but also say the year ahead will be a boom time for clever innovation and women will be in the ascendant.

    The monkey is seen as belonging to the hard metal element, while fire represents the sun, says Hong Kong-based celebrity feng shui master Alion Yeo.

    "When the two things combine, it creates an extremely high temperature. We have to be prepared for a lot of disputes, sickness," he told AFP.

    "One can even associate fire and metal with missiles, bullets or rockets," he said.

    Feng shui --- literally meaning "wind-water" -- is influential in many parts of Asia, where people adjust their lives and renovate offices and homes to maximise their luck and wealth according to its tenets.

    It is based on ancient philosophy and the belief that all events are dictated by the varying balances in the five elements that make up the universe: metal, wood, water, fire and


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