Chinese enjoy cultural feast in Spring Festival holiday

(Xinhua) 09:36, January 28, 2023

BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- As the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit hops in, a bronze rabbit head has drawn a stream of visitors to the National Museum of China in Beijing.

Exhibited to greet the Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, at the museum, it is one of the twelve animal head sculptures that once formed a zodiac water clock in Beijing's Yuanmingyuan, built in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

"Such a big surprise to see the rabbit head sculpture! And in the new year, I hope to see more wonderful things in the world," said a netizen on the microblogging site Weibo.

Chinese people have celebrated the Spring Festival for millennia. As time evolves, new customs have also emerged.

With more than 80 pieces or sets of cultural relics of different periods throughout history on display at the themed exhibition, people can explore China's profound and rich rabbit cultures, zodiac cultures, and cultures of celebrating the Spring Festival during the holiday.

For the annual ritual, the "fu" character has never been missed in China's new year decoration. The word, meaning "good fortune," represents the nation's aspiration for a better life and is a significant part of traditional Chinese culture.

"I bring my child here to feel the festive atmosphere and know about the traditional culture," said Huang Zheng, a visitor at the Fujian Museum in east China, where an exhibition with nearly 200 pieces of cultural relics themed on auspiciousness was held.

During the holiday, more than 2,200 Spring Festival-related exhibitions and activities are being held at over 900 museums across the country, according to the National Cultural Heritage Administration.

Bookstores are a great way to enjoy the holiday for avid readers, becoming a must-have ritual. Yu Bo, a resident of Wuhan, Hubei Province, was delighted to find a newly-opened central library in the city.

"The library gives me a special experience for the Spring Festival and helps me unwind," he said.

In Beijing, more than 160 brick-and-mortar bookstores remain open over the holiday, with some extending the hours of operation on New Year's eve.

Meanwhile, a series of events presenting intangible cultural heritage and folk culture are provided at the sites.

Cinemas also welcome back moviegoers during this year's Spring Festival following the country's downgrading of COVID-19 management.

"There are so many new movies these days. Be it families or individuals, they all can find a movie they love to watch," said Lian Cheng, who watched multiple films on the first day of the new year in Shanghai.

A wide variety of new movies, including the sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth II," the commercial hits "Full River Red" and "Hidden Blade," the family comedy "Five Hundred Miles," and the animated fantasies "Deep Sea" and "Boonie Bears: Guardian Code," are on offer during this year's Spring Festival, usually a peak moviegoing period in China.

As of Thursday, China's total box office for new movies screened during the week-long holiday has exceeded 5.5 billion yuan (about 812.4 million U.S. dollars), according to box office tracker Dengta Data.

In addition, some local authorities have rolled out preferential policies such as subsidies to encourage citizens to return to cinemas.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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