Spring Festival – The Year of theTiger

March 31, 2010

The Chinese New Year is important to most Chinese the world over. It is based on the lunar calendar and is known as the Spring Festival, which can be traced back more than 4,000 years, and it lasts for three days—the last day of the last lunar month and the first two days of the first lunar month. This year, the Spring Festival took place between February 14 to 16 (Gregorian Calendar).

During the Spring Festival, families paste scrolls on doors with the Chinese character ‘Fu’ (), meaning good fortune and happiness. There are firecrackers and fireworks. All family members gather to eat. It is traditional to eat certain foods like jiaozi, dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and sticky rice balls (tangyuan).

Spring Festival Lanterna

The Chinese lunar New Year is one of eight traditional festivals in addition to several government holidays. 2010 is the year of the tiger—known by its formal name of Geng Yin, year 4707 in the lunar Chinese calendar.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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An Insider’s View from Speak Without Interruption

March 30, 2010

In this post, instead of hearing form an outsider who has visited China and studied the culture for a decade while writing two novels about Robert Hart, the Godfather of China’s modernization, let’s see what Will Liu writes about China, his home.

Lunar New Year in China

“This Chinese New Year Season, something did surprise me. As a rule, every year…, I must make the trip to the hometown of my wife, where her father still lives…. What astonished me is that I could not find anybody smoke in the bus! Just last year and before, that was what tortured me most. You cannot avoid smoke, no matter on a bus or in a cab.”

Liu write about the differences he sees between cities.

Then in Part II, Liu writes, “Now, more and more people, especially young people celebrate Christmas Day. Nevertheless, we still take the Chinese New Year as our major … holiday, which we call the Spring Festival. Like the Christmas Season, we have a long Chinese New Year Season, typically the government approves a legal vacation of 3 days from New Year’s Eve till January the 2nd according to the Chinese lunar calendar.”

See another point-of-view from and expatriate, Tom Carter’s Teaching English in the Middle Kingdom http://wp.me/pN4pY-is