Text Version
RSS Feeds
Home Forum Photos Features Newsletter Archive Employment
About US Help Site Map
SEARCH   About US FAQ Site Map Site News
  -Text Version
  -RSS Feeds
  -News Archive
  -Give us feedback
  -Voices of Readers
  -Online community
  -China Biz info
  What's new
News Feature: Many different faces to Chinese New Year celebrations
+ -
08:37, February 10, 2008

 Related News
 Food supply to HK, Macao steady during Spring Festival
 Beijing traditional temple fairs
 Tibetans celebrate Tibetan New Year, Spring Festival on same day
 Cross-strait direct sea routes remains open on first day of Lunar New Year
 Chinese greet Year of the Rat with unity, relief after winter storms clear
 Comment  Tell A Friend
 Print Format  Save Article
When text messages replace snail mail and the nation's once favorite evening gala at the Chinese Central Television becomes a mere show of superstars, Chinese are finding new ways to celebrate during the Lunar New Year holiday.


Beijing traffic came to a standstill on Friday when dozens of vehicles pulled over and at least 1,000 people spilled on to a northern Fourth Ring Road viaduct to pose for a picture with the Bird's Nest, the showcase venue for this summer's Olympic Games.

Beichen viaduct, probably the best spot to take in the huge scale of the Bird's Nest from the ground, was crowded with so many tourists, amateur photographers and souvenirs vendors alike that vehicles queued for five kilometers along the Fourth Ring Road. Four traffic police wagons were soon called in to get the cars moving again.

On Saturday, a police wagon parked on the viaduct to deter drivers from pulling over. "The viaduct is off-limits to pedestrians and parking," said a policeman without giving his name.

A driver surnamed Zhang said he knew it was dangerous to linger on the viaduct. "But my brother's family, who are visiting Beijing during the holiday, really wish to have a closer look at the landmark structure."

Zhang said he hoped the government would set up a special lookout point so tourists and locals alike could observe the Bird's Nest and "Water Cube", the national aquatics center, without putting themselves at risk.


For bachelors and borderline "old maids", the most charming part of a traditional Chinese temple fair is the matchmaking service.

The temple fair at Shijingshan Amusement Park in western Beijing included more than 200 foreigners, as well as well-educated Chinese nationals of a high-income bracket, in search of a mate.

All the applicants had registered at sayhou. com, a leading Chinese matchmaking website. With their approval, the website posted the applicants' photos and gave a brief introduction in advance.

Just like at all Chinese matchmaking events, parents always seem to be at the forefront of the proceedings, more anxious for their grown-up sons and daughters to find a spouse. Typically, junior stood sheepishly in the background of the modern-day equivalent of a horse-trading event while parents went about feverishly negotiating.

An elderly couple surnamed Meng carefully took notes of every seemingly nice girl for their 28-year-old son who reluctantly followed and rejected Xinhua's request for an interview.

Other parents sneaked into the matchmaking area without telling their offspring. "My son is never worried about getting married, but we are," said a 70-something Mr. Hu. "We're waiting for a grandson to be born in the Olympic year."

The matchmaking service continues through Wednesday.


More than 20 equestrians in traditional Tibetan costumes staged a show with their stallions in Lhasa on Saturday, the third day of the Tibetan New Year.

Despite the dusty weather that somehow tarnished the festive atmosphere, the annual show drew more than 20,000 people in the Tibetan capital.

To view the equestrian show, a daring combination of acrobatics and archery, is at the top of many Tibetans' agenda during their new year.

"We believe it brings us good luck throughout the year," said Qoinpe, an elderly man from a county 70 kilometers away from Lhasa. His family of eight left home at 5 a.m. on a tractor to arrive in time for the show starting at 11 a.m..

The audience applauded and shouted "Tashi Delek", a Tibetan expression meaning good luck, as the horse riders, both men and women, did head stands and jumped back and forth on horseback.

New Year's Day in the Tibetan calendar coincided with the Spring Festival falling on Thursday Feb. 7 this year, something that does not occur very often.


For the first time in their lives, 103 orphans at Beijing Guang'ai School lit fireworks on the Chinese New Year.

"We used to worry about their food and lodging," said the school's founder and headmaster Shi Qinghua.

The school, at the foot of the Badaling Section of the Great Wall in northern Beijing, offers free meals, lodging and education to 103 street children.

The 37-year-old Shi was formerly a government employee in the eastern Anhui Province. A firework explosion 10 years ago left him, his wife and their son badly injured. The family came to Beijing for medication, but soon ran out of money.

For several months, the Shi's were homeless on Beijing's streets until a charity organization provided them with food, lodging and paid their medical bills.

When Shi was finally able to provide for his family again, he decided he should do something for vagabond children, many of whom he had brought into his home and taught to read and write starting in 2003.

More than 160 street children have stayed at his family school, about 50 of whom were taken back by their families.

The school, financed largely by non-governmental charity programs and volunteers, often has difficulties making ends meet.

Wider media coverage last year, however, drew flocks of volunteers and donations to Shi and his "children" ahead of the holiday.

"We've got milk, candies, groceries, clothing, stationery and even medicine from businesses and individuals," he said. "I hope the children will learn to be thankful and grow up to be good citizens."

Source: Xinhua

  Your Message:   Most Commented:

|About Peopledaily.com.cn | Advertise on site | Contact us | Site map | Job offer|
Copyright by People's Daily Online, All Rights Reserved