From Lantern Competition to reunion dinners… This is how the Chinese language New 12 months or Spring pageant is widely known


Falling on February 1, the Chinese language New 12 months, additionally referred to as the Spring Competition, marks the start of a brand new yr on the Chinese language lunar calendar. Earlier than the pageant, folks clear their houses in hopes of sweeping away dangerous luck and getting ready to welcome good luck within the coming yr. Purple lanterns are held on the streets and pink couplets are pasted on doorways — pink is taken into account an auspicious color in China.

The celebrations final greater than two weeks — from New 12 months’s Eve to the Lantern Competition, which falls on the fifteenth day of the primary lunar month. Every day of the 16-day-long celebration has a reputation with an assigned function or that means.

On New 12 months’s Eve, a number of generations of a household get collectively to get pleasure from ‘reunion dinners’ and keep up till midnight to depend right down to the New 12 months. Meals is an integral a part of ‘reunion dinners’, with fish being a should as a result of it seems like ‘surplus’ in Chinese language and symbolises abundance. Dumplings formed like Chinese language silver ingots are served as an indication of household unity and prosperity. Individuals additionally eat niangao (glutinous rice desserts) with needs for greater earnings or a promotion as a result of it seems like ‘yr excessive’ in Chinese language.

Buyer chooses from an array of Spring Competition couplets to arrange for the Chinese language New 12 months | Picture: Dong Fang/China Pictorial

Widespread practices for New 12 months’s day embody visiting ancestors’ graves, assembly family members and providing items. Purple envelopes, referred to as lai see in Cantonese, are probably the most sought-after items for kids, and seniors are sometimes gifted money with needs for an additional protected and peaceable yr.

February 3 marks the Day of the Rat when folks usually keep at dwelling with household and relaxation or go time by enjoying video games. On the Day of Mankind, which falls on February 7, folks usually spend the day outdoors connecting with nature, as a result of it was the day that humankind was created in response to Chinese language mythology.

The Lantern Competition brings the conclusion of the New 12 months celebration — on this present day lanterns are lit and hung or flown into the sky, folks watch dragon dances on the streets, kids reply lantern riddles, amongst different actions.

Tiger, third among the many 12 zodiac animals

The Chinese language zodiac options 12 animals, every of which is linked to sure traits and parts, and so they rotate yearly — 2022 is the 12 months of the Tiger. However, one query that involves thoughts is why does the Tiger, the king of beasts, occupy the third place within the Chinese language zodiac?

Legend has it, the Tiger was assured in its velocity and vigour for the celestial race that might determine the order of the zodiac animals. Nevertheless, when it climbed out of the river, it was knowledgeable that the Rat positioned first with its cunningness and the Ox second as a result of its diligence. This left the king of the jungle with third place.

For the reason that Tiger is an emblem of power and bravado, folks grasp its footage at dwelling for the 12 months of the Tiger, believing they’ll assist defend the home and the household. Mother and father gown their younger kids in footwear and hats with tiger-head patterns in hopes to guard them from evil spirits and holding them in good well being.

The National Fitness and Happy Ice and Snow Season 2022 kicks off at the Shichahai ice rink in Beijing’s Xicheng District

The Nationwide Health and Comfortable Ice and Snow Season 2022 kicks off on the Shichahai ice rink in Beijing’s Xicheng District | Ma Gengping/China Pictorial

Like their zodiac animal, folks born within the years of the Tiger are believed to be ‘vigorous and bold, daring and brave, enthusiastic and beneficiant, and self-confident with a way of justice and dedication to serving to others for the better good’. Eminent tiger personalities embody Queen Elizabeth II (born on April 21, 1926), Hollywood famous person Leonardo DiCaprio (born on November 11, 1974), Indian tennis participant Sania Mirza (born on November 15, 1986) and Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes (born on August 8, 1998), to call a couple of.

The 12 zodiac animals so as are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Canine, and Pig. Everybody can determine their Chinese language zodiac animal!

The National Fitness and Happy Ice and Snow Season 2022 kicks off at the Shichahai ice rink in Beijing’s Xicheng District

The Nationwide Health and Comfortable Ice and Snow Season 2022 kicks off on the Shichahai ice rink in Beijing’s Xicheng District | Ma Gengping/China Pictorial

A ‘keep native’ vacation

Chinese language New 12 months is supposed to be spent with household and mates, however the pandemic forces some to spend it away from household. However folks can nonetheless benefit from the pageant through an array of preparations like exhibitions, lantern reveals and on-line cultural strolls.

For instance, a tiger-themed exhibition, titled ‘The Tiger as Talisman: 2022 Chinese language New 12 months’, that includes artworks with tiger patterns, has opened to the general public on the Beijing-based Nationwide Museum of China. The displays date from the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.) to the start of the twenty first century. In Shanghai, a lantern present that includes an array of conventional people lanterns and artwork installations has additionally kicked off in Yuyuan Backyard to welcome the upcoming Chinese language New 12 months. The principle attraction is a nine-meter-tall tiger standing within the central plaza of Yuyuan Backyard Malls, surrounded by a number of smaller tigers, some carrying spacesuits to rejoice the nation’s progress in area exploration.

Additionally, the Palace Museum in Beijing will quickly introduce a particular on-line web page to welcome the Spring Competition, which showcases dozens of tiger-themed cultural relics. In the course of the Spring Competition, the digital cultural relics library on the web site will launch 15,000 new photos of cultural relics, growing the variety of the overall photos obtainable to 83,000.

Knotted to the Beijing Winter Olympics

What additional distinguishes the 12 months of the Tiger is its marriage with the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Video games scheduled to start on February 4, the fifth day of the Spring Competition vacation.

A 17-meter-high Olympics-themed decoration shaped like a Chinese knot is placed at Beijing’s Tian’anmen Square to welcome the Spring Festival holiday and the Beijing Winter Olympics.

A 17-meter-high Olympics-themed ornament formed like a Chinese language knot is positioned at Beijing’s Tian’anmen Sq. to welcome the Spring Competition vacation and the Beijing Winter Olympics. | Wan Quan/China Pictorial

To make sure a festive and peaceable ambiance for the Spring Competition vacation and welcome the Beijing Winter Olympics, a 17-meter-high Olympics-themed ornament formed like a Chinese language knot was arrange at Tian’anmen Sq. in Beijing. The street to the Capital Indoor Stadium, the venue for brief observe velocity skating and determine skating throughout the Video games, has been embellished with Winter Olympics parts resembling footage of the mascots―Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon, in addition to snowflakes, and different wintery icons. The mini programme, Digital Palace Museum, will provide a particular on-line exhibition of historic and fashionable winter sports activities, an interactive winter sports activities mini-game and different acceptable data for the general public throughout the Spring Competition vacation.

(This content material is supplied by Beijing-based China-India Dialogue.)

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