Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chinese New Years Break

As I mentioned in previous posts, after my students took finals they had to come to school for the following week. So I saw them on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (then Thursday and Friday they had to clean the classrooms and do other various jobs)

The kids were soooooo checked out. We weren't supposed to play movies so I played games with my students. Monday we played a synonym game, Tuesday I taught them how to play "BS" and "Spoons" and then on Wednesday I had them do a short presentation about Chinese New Years (I told them to teach me about something)

First of all before I begin my article on CNY read this: it pretty much sums up all the important things 11 Things you should know about Chinese New Years--

especially #5--Man hires girlfriend for 1 Million Yuan (168 centimeters is about 5'6'' and 50KG is about 110 pounds!)

This Christmas tree was re-decorated with red lanterns for CNY

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China. For some Chinese people it is the only time of the year that they get to see their family. The New Years marks the change of the lunar calendar. The official name of CNY was changed to "Spring Festival" about 100 years ago.

Overall I learned that a long time ago a monster named Nian came to a village. Nian (年)would come the first day of every new lunar calendar to eat the crops and even people. To protect themselves, the villagers made food and put it on their doorstep for Nian. They also wore red and put out red lanterns and other decorations and did firecrackers to scare Nian away.


All of which are to keep away Nian and to bring a new year that is prosperous, full of health and good luck. Traditionally CNY is also a time to honor ancestors and deities.

So during Chinese New Years many many people in China travel which makes it hectic and crazy to travel.

This year since train tickets sold out very quickly, many people drove their motorbike to their hometown

This is the train station in Guangzhou 

This is a "survival" preparation for traveling during CNY--my student showed the class this in her presentation. I thought it was pretty funny

CNY Travel Struggles --this is an article about personal travel stories

CNY is 15 days long. On New Years Eve, Chinese people watch the New Years Gala and eat a big meal with their family. They eat dumplings, fish (the word for fish--yu--means prosperity in another tone), rice cake, Chinese pudding, melon seeds-watermelon, pumpkin--this is supposed to bring fertility and oranges, which chinese name means luck or prosperity in another tone.


rice pudding (i have no idea whats in this) 

According to this number about 7x's the amount of people who watch the Superbowl watch the CNY Gala…CNY in numbers Its full of China propaganda (if you can search it in youtube you can see a lot of the performances are in military uniforms and there are constant pictures of Mao)

CNY Gala is nothing but politics

My students' favorite part is that in order to bring good health, you stay up all night on NYE (a perfect excuse to play computer games all night) and any person under 30 who is unmarried gets a red envelop of money from relatives (some of my affluent students last year told me they get up to 20,000RMB which is $2,500--although the article says the average gift is about 200 RMB $30) Also eating sweets is said to bring a good New Year. (there are so many superstitions it is hard to keep them all straight!)

They also told me that in order to bring good fortune in the new year, you must wear a new outfit. They said many little kids will wear the outfit before the new years so then the parents will have to go buy them a new outfit and hide it.

Decorations--most are believed to bring good luck or to scare Nian away. 

A plum tree represents courage and is a common CNY decoration. Many Chinese will head to the flower market before CNY to get flowers and plum trees for the New Year.

The hangings around the door are called couplets and bring good fortune. One goes on the right, one on the top, and one on the left of your door. 

Such beautiful decorations!

A huge horse in Beijing! Welcome year of the horse!

Any guesses what this street food is? 

Happy Chinese New Years everyone! Since its a 15 day holiday I have 3 weeks off :D back to school Feb. 16th

No comments:

Post a Comment