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china celebrates spring fest in grand style again

source: science and technology daily | 2023-02-02 09:41:57 | author: ershad shikdar

a dragon dance is held to welcome the year of the rabbit in xuancheng, anhui province, jan. 20, 2023. (photo:vcg)
by ershad shikdar
amid much festivities and colorful grandeur, chinese around the world said goodbye to the year of the tiger and rang in the year of the rabbit on the night of january 21. the celebrations began on the eve of the chinese new year and will end with the lantern festival on the 15th day of the chinese lunar year — february 5.

having not been able to celebrate the new year holiday for the past three years due to covid-19, this year's spring festival was celebrated with additional exuberance.

i found almost everyone around me to be brimming with energy and enthusiasm, being able once more to reconnect with their families and for the all important reunion dinner on the eve of the new year.

while enjoying their tasty dinners, families across the country also enjoyed a visual feast in the form of the traditional spring festival gala, presented by the china media group (cmg) on tv and other online platforms.

it would not be an exaggeration to say that with its superb performances, the long awaited annual gala won the hearts of millions of viewers gathered round their televisions in china and around the world on lunar new year's eve. the fabulous gala brought the elegance, uniqueness and diversity of chinese culture alive.

known as chunwan in chinese, the gala has already earned recognition as the most-watched television show in the world by the guinness book of world records, when more than one billion watched the show in 2018.

with the pandemic over, ahead of the holidays festivities have gripped china. homes across the country have been decorated with red chinese calligraphy scrolls wishing good luck in the year of the rabbit. tourist spots, shopping malls, restaurants, shops, supermarkets, and alleyways around the country were decked out in red lanterns that seemed to hang on every lamppost, doorway and place of business. dazzling billboards and banners added extra color and glitz to the festivities. everyone can feel the air of festivities in china.

weeks before the festival, people flocked in droves to shopping malls to do their last-minute shopping. likewise, local tourism business owners were again able to do brisk trade as necessary measures have been taken to ensure safe and healthy tours for everyone.

meanwhile, people celebrated the carnival by lighting firecrackers, giving lucky money to children, ringing the new year's bell, and exchanging chinese new year greetings.

the spring festival holiday has also been one of the most lucrative screening seasons of the year, with many new movies hitting the cinemas. besides theatrical releases, movie fans were spoiled for choice both on the big screen and on streaming websites.

people have also indulged  their taste buds with tangyuan (glutinous rice balls), dumplings, nian gao (new year sticky rice cake), spring rolls, and other mouth-watering traditional chinese dishes like every year.

many believe that every food carries a special significance to their lives. eggs symbolize a big and healthy family, lobster endless money rolling in, shrimp fortune and wealth, roasted pig peace, duck loyalty, peaches longevity, tofu happiness and fortune for the entire family, and fish represents surplus and wealth.

china has burst into celebration as this spring festival is being celebrated without any pandemic-related restrictions. people from all walks of life are elated to once again welcome in the chinese new year with family festivities and the promise of a joyous, healthy and fortune-filled year ahead.

ershad shikdar is a bangladeshi journalist and opinion writer based in beijing.

editor: 毕炜梓

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