On Chinese New Year’s eve, I followed some lion and dragon dance troupes around our area of Bangkok.
Chinese New Year decorations have appeared at our local traditional market:
For more photos from this market during the build-up to Chinese New Year, see:
Qingdao’s canal bed Licun Daji traditional market is epic on a normal day (see photos here). But on the last market day before Chinese New Year, it’s “here a fú, there a fú, everywhere a fú–fú” — like a ginormous red, yellow and black ant colony that some kid has just poked with a stick, all charged up and buzzing with Chinese New Year colour, food and traditions.
Have a fu.
On locals’ advice, a coworker and I squeezed around back and forth through it during xiūxi time (aka after lunch siesta), when the crowds weren’t as lethal as in the morning. We weren’t aiming to document the whole thing, just look around and chat and take pictures of whatever caught our eye, and ended up with a lots of red and religious stuff (in which Chairman Mao makes an expected strong appearance), along with the usual things that make foreigners stop and take pictures.
财神，the money god, for sale.
(Aside from one pile of pig heads, there aren’t any other photos of piles of animal parts, though it was interesting to see shoppers inspect piles of cold, shiny intestines the same way you would check over tomatoes — i.e. with your bare hands.)
Apples grown with stickers to make the sun shine “riches” 财, “respect” 恭， and “advance” 进 into the peels.
Anyway, here you go!
More photos from this market: Licunji – Qingdao’s most epic market
Chinese New Year photo galleries:
- Chinese New Year’s 2013 Dragon Dance, Chinatown, Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Qingdao’s Temple of the Empress of Heaven 天后宫, Spring Festival 2013
- Beijing’s Ditan Park Temple Fair 地坛庙会
Chinese New Year songs to learn:
- 《恭喜发财》 by 刘德华 – a translated Chinese New Year song to get you in the Spring Festival mood!
- 《恭喜恭喜》 Get in the Spring Festival mood with another Chinese New Year song!
- 《恭喜恭喜恭喜你》 – a translated song for Chinese New Year!
Lucky Panties & Fu:
Went looking online for something in Qingdao similar to Beijing’s Spring Festival temple fairs. Yesterday we ended up at the Temple of the Empress of Heaven 天后宫 on 太平路。 It’s not the same kind of thing as the temple fair we experienced in Beijing’s Ditan Park, but it was interesting.
If I’d had the time (we had two little ones with us and their clocks were ticking), I would have loved to talk with some of the red-coated employees who were instructing people how to offer their incense. I thought it was interesting that the majority of people we observed who were offering incense didn’t actually know how to do it and needed directions. I’d love to find out more about what kind of beliefs they have and why, and how similar it is to what we occasionally find in taxis. How people decide their opinions interests me in general.
Anyway, click a thumbnail to begin.
According to taxi drivers the real action is at the Haiyun nunnery 海云庵 on the Lantern Festival 元宵节。 They apparently have a candy festival (Google image search this: 海云庵 糖球会) — hopefully we can hit it. One guy compared the scene to a pilgrimage to Mecca. Not looking forward to huge crowds, but something festive would be fun with friends.
Related Photo Galleries:
Peace is not an association anyone has with Chinese New Year in China. Insane amounts of fireworks for days and nights on end is what people associate with Spring Festival in China. And forget that stereotype of the quiet, mild-mannered Chinaman. China is loud. Chinese are loud. But let me explain.
Fireworks aside (I know, it’s a big ‘aside’), our neighbourhood was silent until today. Because so many people were gone back to their hometowns. They say 9.5 million people left Beijing for the holidays. Our neighbourhood was like a miniature version of that. The place felt virtually empty. All week there’ve been no cars honking. No people yelling outside our windows. Almost like Canada.
But our napping daughters were just woken up by both honking and people yelling. And then I remembered: today is the day most people go back to work. The neighbours have returned. All the extra fireworks this morning were businesses opening. Spring Festival continues but the holiday is over. And so is naptime, at least for today.