Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year 2013!

We are officially into the fifteen days of celebrating the Chinese Spring Festival, also knows at Chinese New Year.  Spring Festival is the major Chinese holiday of the year, with millions of people traveling to be with their families   2013 is the year of the snake, the last year of the snake was 2001, they rotate through the animals every 12 years.

Fake cherry blossoms added to trees, it was about 20 degrees
Last night (February 9th) was New Year's Eve. We started by celebrating with dinner, as New Year's Eve is generally a time spent with family.  We then watched the CCTV (China Central Television) New Year's Gala which was a 4.5 hour celebration on the main television channel in China with music, comedy skits, and many famous people. It is the most watched arts and cultural show in the world. I read somewhere that 800 million people watch the annual show.

Celine Dion was a special guest this year and sang a Chinese song as a duet, and then "My Heart Will Go On."  It was really nice, minus the parts where we couldn't understand anything that was going on.  Amazingly, the whole thing was without commercial.

Late on New Year's Eve, the fireworks started. Fireworks seem to be a free for all in Beijing.  There are no organized fireworks, instead everyone, and I mean everyone is lighting massive amounts of fireworks that would most likely be highly illegal the average person in the US.

The heavy fireworks started at 11:50 pm and went on constant for almost 50 minutes. It was amazing the amount of fireworks going off all around us because they weren't organized, so you are being bombarded by fireworks from all sides. Imagine being 500 feet from a small city's firework launch pad and that was what it was like. Just crazy!

Today on Chinese New Year, we decided to take a tour with China Cultural Center to a special festival called a temple fair, typically a Northern China tradition close to a temple or park with worshiping deities, entertainment and shopping.  We saw rural traditional dancing, incense offerings for good wishes, puppet shows, lots of food, music, and games for all ages.

blowing the sugar into a pig.

Kiddo got a really cool edible art made out of sugar. The artist made it into a pig because she was born in the year of the pig. He took melted, hot sugar and by blowing into it turned it into art. Quite amazing! It only took him about 30 seconds.

Edible Sugar Art
We also took in a traditional Chinese lunch with all the other participants of the tour. I wish I could tell you what we ate, it was a little bit of everything and quite a few things that no one was adventurous enough to touch.  Just as I'm writing this the fireworks are starting back up. We lit some sparklers last night, that's about as exciting as I'm willing to get!

1 comment:

  1. So glad I now know about your blog! Love and Hugs and prayers. Happy Chinese New Year!