Chinese New Year

I'm sorry that I haven't written for some time now. Work is busy and I haven't thought of anything rewarding to post. But it's soon February, which means one thing for the Chinese - the Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year. Almost everyone gets two weeks holiday and whole cities more or less shut down as more than 210 million people travel from the large eastern cities to their home provinces. It's the world largest annual migration so count your blessings if you don't have to travel within China at that time.

Guangzhou in 2008, and you think that Ikea is too crowded at times..

So, what's the Chinese New Year all about? Well, it mainly celebrates the beginning the first day of the lunar calendar, which this year is February 3. It's not only celebrated in China but also in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, etc as these countries have a significant Chinese population. So if there is any Chinatown in your city the first week in February is the time to visit it.

As with Christmas and New Year for "westerners" people here buy presents, decorate their homes (with loads of red & golden lanterns), cook huge family dinners and shop clothes. Also important is to do some serious cleaning of the house, in order to "sweep away bad luck" and make way for some of that good luck. The word "luck" in general has a special standing in China as it is part of many positive phrases. This is also why objects that sound almost the same as "luck" are considered lucky, more about that here.

During the spring festival firecrackers and fireworks are very popular and I have heard a lot of bangs since the middle of January, although many urban centres have banned them in order to minimize accidents.

A shop selling Spring festival decorations.

This year is the year of the rabbit, so all babies born this year will have the zodiac sign of rabbit. I'm born 1984 so I'm a rat, that might not seem very uplifting but rats are considered charismatic, intellectual, industrious, and shrewd. However, we can also be manipulative, self-destructive, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, and scheming. Hmm, that sounds a bit too general, as anyone will be all of these things at some point in their life. You can check what you are here.

So Happy New Year 4709! (According to one version of the Chinese lunar calendar).


Kommentera inlägget här:

Kom ihåg mig?

E-postadress: (publiceras ej)



RSS 2.0