[Photo Gallery:] It’s Fú Time! Get ready for Chinese New Year 2014!

fu5 [Photo Gallery:] Its Fú Time! Get ready for Chinese New Year 2014!

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 , there a , everywhere a -” — 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.

fu1 [Photo Gallery:] Its Fú Time! Get ready for Chinese New Year 2014!
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.

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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 [Photo Gallery:] Its Fú Time! Get ready for Chinese New Year 2014!
Apples grown with stickers to make the sun shine “riches” , “respect” , and “advance” 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 songs to learn:

Lucky Panties & Fu:

[Photo Gallery:] Licunji – Qingdao’s most epic market

We’re celebrating one whole year in Qingdao! So here’s a photo gallery from the most epic market I’ve ever seen anywhere (scroll down past the blahblahblah and click a thumbnail to begin). It just happens to be a 20-minute walk from our place.

post01viewmarketscape20131001 LicunDaji 003 [Photo Gallery:] Licunji   Qingdaos most epic market
The middle third of Lǐcūnjí.

李村集 has occupied a usually (but not always) dry canal bed for over 100 years, stretching between four bridges. You’d need a few hours to see everything. It’s a site to behold any day of the week, but “big market” days (大集) — lunar calendar days ending in 2 and 7 — bring breathtaking scale and variety (and near-apocalyptic traffic jams). For anyone who wants to learn about China, the amount of culture on display here — relating to food, medicine, religion, leisure, etc. — is just incredible. The streets immediately parallel to the canal are also packed. But two streets away you’ll find spanking new upscale malls, trendy shopping streets (步行街), and a forest of in-progress highrises. Lǐcūnjí is an old-school island in a sea of rapid development, and who knows how long they’ll let it stay.

post02people20130930 LindysLicunDaji 025 [Photo Gallery:] Licunji   Qingdaos most epic market
On one of the two middle bridges that stretch across Lǐcūnjí.

There are many ‘Chinas’Lǐcūnjí is one that foreigners encounter less often, and that perhaps represents (economically at least) a larger slice of China’s population than the university-educated urbanites foreigners are most likely to interact with. I couldn’t find anything online about it in English. So it’s almost like I get to play Marco Polo with this. If you’re a lǎowài and you visit, you’ll be the only one for miles. And chances are good you’ll see some things you’ve never seen before. Lǐcūnjí isn’t for tourists, domestic or foreign. It’s China unedited.

post03medicinepenisclaw20130930 LindysLicunDaji 052 [Photo Gallery:] Licunji   Qingdaos most epic market
Tiger paw, horns and assorted dried penises (tiger, deer & seal).

Photos are all by me or Lindy (a good friend from our Tianjin days), taken on her real camera and my point-and-shoot and iPhone. We spent most of a morning there, and I’ve accumulated some pictures over the months because I pass through there almost every week. This doesn’t come close to documenting or even summarizing the entire place. Still, it’s an eyeful (though not for the easily queasy!). Photos are loosely grouped by theme: marketscape (7), gods (10), pets (4), people (14), places (5), medicine (11), lunch (20), trinkets (3), meat (10), produce (9), and more marketscape (14).


When living in Tianjin we stumbled upon a different but similar sort of place:

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At Lǐcūnjí’s under-the-bridge BBQ pits, they’ll prepare whatever meat & veggies you bring from the market.

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The “Bridgehead Bathhouse”

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The south-west third of Lǐcūnjí.

[Photo Gallery:] Qingdao’s Temple of the Empress of Heaven 天后宫, Spring Festival 2013

20130216 052flags [Photo Gallery:] Qingdaos Temple of the Empress of Heaven 天后宫, Spring Festival 2013

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 on 太平。 It’s not the same kind of thing as the temple fair we experienced in Beijing’s Ditan Park, but it was interesting.

20130216 071instruction [Photo Gallery:] Qingdaos Temple of the Empress of Heaven 天后宫, Spring Festival 2013

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 on the Lantern Festival 元宵。 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:

[Photo Gallery:] Chinese New Year’s 2013 Dragon Dance, Chinatown, Chiang Mai, Thailand

CNYdragon [Photo Gallery:] Chinese New Years 2013 Dragon Dance, Chinatown, Chiang Mai, Thailand

We were in Chiang Mai, Thailand for Chinese New Year and hit Chinatown on New Year’s Day. So here are some dragon photos and a video! Click a thumbnail to begin.

Over four years in China (five if you count Taiwan), but we’ve only ever seen lion or dragon dances in Canada, Thailand and old Jackie Chan movies.

And of course there’s lots more Chinese New Year/Spring Festival stuff to see!

[Photo Gallery:] Chinese Christmas Art

ChineseChristmasNativity 011small [Photo Gallery:] Chinese Christmas ArtThe images in this gallery come from two sources: the website of contemporary Chinese artist Dr. He Qi, and a collection of pre-Liberation Chinese scroll paintings by various Chinese artists at the USF Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History (thanks to pcNielsen of The Aesthetic Elevator for the link). Both sources have lots of interesting non-Christmas stuff as well, like the Chinese boy Jesus practicing Chinese characters, and Guanyin-esque cloud-floating Marys.

Related:

[Photo Gallery:] Our China 2011

Here’s the best of our 2011 China photos, taken between January and June (we were out of the country for the second half of 2011). People, places, food, “food”, Chinglish, traditions, festivals, social issues… basically we took photos of anything we thought looked or represented something interesting. See the captions below each photo for info and links. And feel free to leave comments below!

[Photo Gallery:] Filming Jackie Chan’s Chinese propaganda movie “1911”

Photos from two days of filming as extras in the big-budget epic “1911”, plus movie clips of the scenes we were in and screen stills from the movie. Read more about it here:

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